USCIS Expects Hike in H-2B Petitions in Second Half of 2018 Fiscal Year

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.  There is generally a 33,000 visa cap for H-2Bs for each half (first and second) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) fiscal year (66,000 annual total).  If the cap is not reached for the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 to March 31), USCIS makes those unused numbers available for use during the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 to September 30).

Last week, however, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it would not begin releasing H-2B temporary labor certifications until February 20, 2018, because of an unprecedented number of applications.  As a result of this demand, the USCIS expects to receive more H-2B non-immigrant worker petitions than there are H-2B visas available in the second half of Fiscal Year 2018.  In response, the USCIS has stated that it is “maintaining a flexible approach” to this issue.  According the USCIS, such approach may include randomly selecting petitions received on the final receipt date to ensure that the USCIS allocates H-2B visas fairly and the cap of 33,000 (for each half of the fiscal year) is not exceeded.  More information will be provided as the USCIS makes it available. 

Underwood regularly represents employers with employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant immigration matters.  If you have any questions regarding this, or any other immigration matter, please contact Bryan Guymon or Ronn Garcia with the Underwood Law Firm, P.C.’s Immigration Law Section.

 

This column is published for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual partners. The Underwood Law Firm, P.C. regularly represents employers with employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant immigration matters.  If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Guymon or Ronn Garcia with the Underwood Law Firm, P.C.’s Immigration Law Section. The Underwood Law Firm, P.C. regularly represents employers with employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant immigration matters. If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Guymon or Ronn Garcia with the Underwood Law Firm, P.C.’s Immigration Law Section.

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