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USCIS completed the random selection process for the H-2B Visa Cap for Second half of FY 2018


On March 1, 2018, USCIS released that during the beginning of February 2018, it has received over 27,000 H-2B cap-subject petitions requesting approximately 47,000 workers for the second half of the FY 2018. As a result, the Service conducted a lottery on February 28, 2018 to randomly select enough petitions to meet the cap.

The H-2B visa program is designed for low skilled foreign national workers to come to the U.S. to fill temporary nonagricultural work.

The H-2B visa cap for each fiscal year is 66,000, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers, who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 31). On December 21, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the statutory H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2018.

USCIS typically accepts filings in excess of the cap to account for petition withdrawals, revocations and denials, as well as cases in which employers ultimately employ fewer H-2B workers than requested in their petitions.

However, USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the statutory cap and this includes the following types of petitions:

  • Current H-2B workers in the United States seeking 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 the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam, until Dec. 31, 2019.

USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after February 27, 2018.

For more information, please contact us.


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