USCIS reaches H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2007

December 06, 2006

USCIS has announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2007. USCIS has notified the public that November 28, 2006 is the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to April 1, 2007. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the first half of FY 2007.

A computer-generated random selection process will be applied to all petitions which are subject to the cap and were received by USCIS on November 28, 2006. This process will select the number of petitions needed to meet the cap. All cap-subject petitions not randomly selected and that arrive after November 28, 2006 will be rejected. USCIS will accept petitions for new H-2B workers seeking employment start dates on or after April 1, 2007 that arrive after the “final receipt date” only if such petitions are supported by a valid temporary labor certification.

Petitions for workers who are currently in H-2B status and returning H-2B workers do not count towards the congressionally mandated bi-annual H-2B cap. “Returning workers” are exempt from H-2B cap limitations. In order to qualify, the worker must have counted against the H-2B numerical cap between October 1, 2003 and September 30, 2006. Any worker not certified as a “returning worker” is subject to the numerical limitations for the relevant fiscal year.

USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extend their stay;
  • Allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay; or
  • Request eligible H-2B “returning workers”.

See also…

Immigration Law Forum