Ivener & Fullmer LLP

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.

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