H-2B Cap Reached
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 23, 2007, that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the final six months of fiscal year 2007. March 16, 2007, is the â€œfinal receipt dateâ€ for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates before October 1, 2007. The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the second half of FY 2007. USCIS will reject petitions for new H-2B workers seeking employment start dates before October 1, 2007, that arrived after March 16, 2007.
Petitions for both current and returning H-2B workers do not count toward the congressionally mandated biannual H-2B cap, USCIS noted. To qualify as a returning worker, the worker must have counted against the H-2B numerical cap between October 1, 2003, and September 30, 2006. USCIS said it would reject petitions received after the final receipt date that contain a combination of returning workers and workers subject to the H-2B cap. Petitioning employers will receive partial approvals for those who qualify as returning workers if otherwise approvable.
USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:
- Extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the U.S.;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extend their stay;
- Allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay; or
- Request eligible H-2B â€œreturning workers.â€