USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for First Half of FY 2016
On March 21, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2016. March 15, 2016, was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2016.
Except as noted below, USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that were received after March 15, 2016, and that request an employment start date before April 1, 2016.
USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes:
- For FY 2016 only, workers identified as “returning workers” who were previously counted against the annual H-2B cap during FYs 2013, 2014, or 2015;
- Current H-2B workers in the U.S. petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
- Fish roe processors, and fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
- Workers performing labor or services from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.
USCIS said that to avoid processing delays, petitioners who are including H-2B returning workers on their petition must complete and include the H-2B Returning Worker Certification and are encouraged to write “H-2B Returning Workers” prominently on the envelope and any cover page.
See here for more information.