USCIS announced on February 2, 2015 that it has received enough H-2B petitions to reach its total limit (33,000 petitions) on the number foreign nationals looking to enter the United States under H-2B temporary work visa. The petitions for H-2B workers who are exempted from the H-2B cap will only be accepted by USCIS. The final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions was January 26, 2015 that request employment start before April 1, 2015.
USCIS allows 66,000 new H-2B petitions every fiscal year, in which 33,000 petitions are allocated beginning in the first half of fiscal year from October 1 – March 31 and 33,000 be allocated beginning in the second half of the fiscal year from April 1 – September 30. USCIS will not accept any H2B petitions until the beginning of second half of the fiscal year, i.e. until March 31.
How Does it Affect Petitioners?
All the petitions applied after January 26, 2015 for an employment that have a start date prior April 1,2015 will be rejected. Left unfilled cap numbers for the first half of Fiscal Year 2015 will not be transferred or added to the second half of the Fiscal Year 2015.
For example: If 1000 caps are left unfilled in the first half, then the cap numbers of second half will not become 34,000 but will remain 33,000 only.
USCIS may only accept petitions for H-2B workers who are exempted from the H-2B cap, once the cap has reached.