Cap Reached for Returning Worker H-2B Visas in First Half of FY 2024

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the cap for the additional 20,716 H-2B visas allocated for returning workers for the first half of fiscal year 2024 (FY 2024). The visas have start dates on or before March 31, 2024, under the H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule (FY 2024 TFR).

Here are some key highlights and considerations: 

Cap Reached for Returning Worker Visas

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the cap for the additional 20,716 H-2B visas designated for returning workers. The final receipt date for petitions requesting these supplemental visas under the FY 2024 first half returning worker allocation was January 9, 2024.

Ongoing Acceptance for Other Categories

While the returning worker cap has been reached, USCIS continues to accept petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers with start dates on or before March 31, 2024. This applies to the additional 20,000 visas allotted for nationals of specific countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. It also includes those exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

Country-Specific Allocation

The country-specific allocation of 20,000 visas is open for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. This category also includes individuals who are exempt from the returning worker requirement.

Immediate Effect of FY 2024 TFR

The FY 2024 TFR, published on Nov. 17, 2023, with an immediate effective date, initiated the acceptance of H-2B petitions. USCIS began accepting petitions for the 20,716 returning worker allocation and the 20,000 allocation for specified countries, all with start dates on or before March 31, 2024.

Encouragement for Petitioners

Petitioners whose workers were not accepted for the 20,716 returning worker allocation are encouraged to file under the country-specific allocation while visas are still available.

Current Status of Petitions

As of Jan. 12, 2024, USCIS has received petitions for 4,500 workers under the 20,000 visas set aside for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.

Additional Information

More information on the FY 2024 supplemental visas, including details on the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2024, is available on the dedicated page provided by USCIS.

This announcement provides an overview of the status of H-2B visas for returning workers in the first half of FY 2024 and highlights the ongoing acceptance of petitions for other categories, emphasizing specific country allocations and exemptions from the congressionally mandated cap. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the USCIS website for additional details and updates.

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