US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Oct. 13 that it received enough petitions to reach the congressionally mandated cap on H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2024.

The final receipt date was Oct. 13 for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2024. However, USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:

  1. Current H-2B workers in the United States who are extending their stay, changing employers or altering the terms and conditions of their employment.
  2. Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing.
  3. Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from Nov. 28, 2009, until Dec. 31, 2029.

The H-2B program allows US employers or US agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the US to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 to March 31) and 33,000 — plus any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year — for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 to Sept. 30).