The US has received enough petitions for H-2B visas to reach the cap for the additional 19,000 made available for returning workers for the early second half of fiscal year 2024, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.

The visas go to temporary nonagricultural workers with start dates from April 1 to May 14, 2024. Companies using H-2B visas include those in hospitality, tourism, landscaping and seafood processing.

USCIS is still accepting petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers for the additional 20,000 visas allotted for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica who are exempt from the returning worker requirement as well as those who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

Petitions for workers for the late second half of fiscal 2024 — requesting employment start dates from May 15 to Sept. 30 — will be accepted starting April 22. The 5,000 visas made available under this allocation are limited to returning workers who were issued H-2B visas or held H-2B status in fiscal 2021, 2022 or 2023, regardless of country of nationality.

The US Department of Homeland Security previously announced the number of available H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers would increase by 64,716 for federal fiscal year 2024, which began Oct. 1, 2023. This is in addition to the congressionally mandated existing 66,000 H-2B visas available each year.