On January 3, 2008, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-2B petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2008. January 2, according to USCIS, will be the ‘final receipt date’ for all requests for new H-2B worker visas with employment start dates prior to October 1, 2008. Further, USCIS has commented that it will reject any petition for a new H-2B worker for an employment start date prior to October 1, 2008 that was received by USCIS after January 2.
The H-2B mandatory visa cap allows for up to 33,000 H-2B workers for the second half of Fiscal Year 2008. Petitions received on or before January 2 will now go through a computer-generated random selection process. Cap-subject petitions not chosen in this selection process will be rejected and USCIS will return the fee to those petitioners.
Please note that petitions for workers currently in the U.S. under H-2B status do not count toward this bi-annual H-2B cap. USCIS states that it will continue to process petitions filed to extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the U.S. or change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extend their stay. In addition, USCIS will process petitions filed to allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay in the U.S.