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H-2B Visa Cap Increases
Temporary Rule Set Through the Fiscal Year


Secretary Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security was authorized by Congress to determine the numerical cap in accordance with the FY 2018 Omnibus.

In addition to the annual 66,000 visas that were issued, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor increased the H-2B cap up to 15,000 for nonimmigrant visas on May 31, 2018. Secretary Nielsen set the numerical limit through the fiscal year 2018. The temporary rule is based on a statutory authority that is time-limited and will expire on September 30, 2018.

After considering the needs of American businesses, Nielsen stated that there are not enough sufficient and qualified U.S. workers available for temporary nonagricultural work.

As in 2017, the first half of the fiscal year had a maximum of 33,000 visas available. The rest, including unused visas, are accessible through the end of September.

Those who can petition for the additional visas are American businesses that have a likelihood of experiencing severe financial loss if they are unable to employ the H-2B workers they requested on their petition. Eligible petitioners can file Form I-129 for the H-2B visas and must also meet other requirements, under the temporary increase, no later than September 30, 2018.

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August 24, 2019, 10:45 pm PDT

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