U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has begun to provide processing statistics for H-2B petitions for temporary nonagricultural employment in the second half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. As of December 1, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received H-2B filings for 12,371 beneficiaries. Of these, 6,276 cases have been approved, and 6,095 are pending. The second half of FY 2009 runs from April 1, 2009 to September 31, 2009. H-2B petitions may be filed up to six months before the employment start date.
Though the H-2B cap is 33,000 for the second half of the fiscal year, USCIS estimates that applications for at least 50,000 cap-subject beneficiaries will be needed to reach the half-year cap. USCIS uses the beneficiary target figure to account for cases that are ultimately denied, withdrawn, or revoked, as well as cases in which employers actually employ fewer workers than requested. The target figure is subject to change as the fiscal year progresses.