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USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016
USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. May 12, 2016 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2016.
What Happens After Reaching the Cap
Except as noted below, we will reject new H-2B petitions received after May 12, 2016 that request an employment start date before October 1, 2016.
Petitions That Are Exempt from the Cap
We will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes the following types of petitions:
- For FY 2016 only, workers certified and confirmed as “returning workers” who were previously counted against the annual H-2B cap during FYs 2013, 2014 or 2015;
- Current H-2B workers in the U.S. petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
- Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
- Workers performing labor or services from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands or Guam.
Petitions including H-2B Returning Workers:
To avoid processing delays, petitioners who are including H-2B returning workers on their petition must complete and include the H-2B Returning Worker Certification and are encouraged to write “H-2B Returning Workers” prominently on the envelope and any cover page. You can find more information about this in the web alert H-2B Returning Workers Exempted from the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016.
Fiscal Year 2017 H-2B Petitions
We will consider H-2B petitions requesting an employment start date on or after October 1, 2016, towards the FY 2017 H-2B cap. These petitions will be subject to all eligibility requirements for FY 2017 H-2B cap filings.
For more information about the H-2B work program, visit uscis.gov/h-2b or call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).