H-2B Half-Year Cap Reached
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on October 1, 2007, that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2008. USCIS established September 27, 2007, as the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates before April 1, 2008. 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 six months of FY 2008.
Under current law, USCIS noted, a returning worker who was counted toward the H-2B numerical limit during FYs 2004, 2005 or 2006 was exempt from being counted against the FY 2007 H-2B cap. USCIS noted that Congress has not yet reauthorized or extended the returning worker provisions for FY 2008. Absent such reauthorization or extension, USCIS must count all petitions requesting H-2B workers for new employment with an employment start date of October 1, 2007, or later toward the FY 2008 H-2B cap.
USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on September 27, 2007. Petitions for workers who are currently in H-2B status do not count toward the congressionally mandated bi-annual H-2B cap. 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; or allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay.
The announcement is available at www.uscis.gov.