U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received enough petitions to meet the H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2023 and is announcing the filing dates for supplemental H-2B visas for the reminder of FY 2023 made available under the FY 2023 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule.
H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY 2023
USCIS has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2023. Feb. 27, 2023 was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date on or after Apr. 1, 2023, and before Oct. 1, 2023. We will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Feb. 27, 2023, that request an employment start date on or after Apr. 1, 2023, and before Oct. 1, 2023.
On Feb. 27, 2023, the number of beneficiaries for whom USCIS received petitions surpassed the total number of remaining H-2B visas available for the H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2023. In accordance with regulations, we determined it was necessary to use a computer-generated selection process intended to ensure the fair and orderly allocation of H-2B visa cap numbers available, without exceeding the FY 2023 cap. On March 1, 2023, we conducted the selection process to randomly select petitions from those received on Feb. 27, 2023. Upon completion of this random selection process, we assigned all selected petitions a receipt date and began premium processing services.
We continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:
- Current H-2B workers in the United States who wish to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
- Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
- Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam (until Dec. 31, 2029).
Filing Dates for Second Half of FY 2023 Supplemental Visas
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) jointly published a temporary final rule on Dec. 15, 2022, increasing the numerical limit (or cap) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 64,716 additional visas for all of FY 2023. These supplemental visas are available only to U.S. businesses that are suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all the H-2B workers requested in their petition, as attested by the employer on the DOL Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-7. These supplemental H-2B visas are for U.S. employers seeking to petition for additional workers at certain periods of the fiscal year before Sept. 15, 2023.
Below are the filing start dates for each of the remaining supplemental visa allocations under the temporary final rule:
- For employers seeking nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti: USCIS will begin accepting petitions for employers requesting an employment start date from Apr. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2023, on March 14, 2023. USCIS began accepting petitions from employers with employment start dates from Oct. 1, 2022, to Mar. 31, 2023, in December 2022. A cap count for this Northern Central American/Haiti allocation is available on the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2023 page.
- For employers seeking workers for the early second half of FY 2023 (Apr. 1 to May 14): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 16,500 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on March 14, 2023.
- For employers seeking workers for the late second half of FY 2023 (May 15 to Sept. 30): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 10,000 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on April 13, 2023.
USCIS has already announced that we have received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 18,216 H-2B visas made available for returning workers for the first half of FY 2023 with employment start dates on or before March 31, 2023.
Additional information on the FY 2023 supplemental visas is available on the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2023 page.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options,