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USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016

Archived Content

The information on this page is out of date. However, some of the content may still be useful, so we have archived the page.

Release Date

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).

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