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H-2B Visas Available for Second Half of FY 2009
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The quota numbers are still available for H-2B temporary nonagricultural employment in the second half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, but are expected to go off rapidly. The USCIS, as of December 5, 2008, had received H-2B filings for 17,001 beneficiaries. Of these, 7,597 H-2B cases have been approved, and 9,404 are pending.

USCIS received over 5,000 H-2B filings between December 1, when USCIS last updated its figures, and December 5. Based on the statistics from USCIS, the agency is receiving H-2B filings at a pace similar to that of last year for the second half of the fiscal year. Last year the cap was reached on January 2, 2008. Because of the increasingly rapid usage of numbers, employers are urged to file H-2B petitions soon for employment start dates in the second half of FY 2009, which runs from April 1, 2009 to September 30, 2009. H-2B visa petitions may be filed up to six months before the employment start date.

Though the H-2B visa 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 USCIS uses the higher beneficiary target figure to account for cases that are ultimately denied, withdrawn, or revoked, as well as cases in which employers actually employ fewer workers than requested.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.

Cap Type Cap Amount Beneficiaries Approved Beneficiaries Pending Beneficiaries Targe1 Total Date of Last Count
H-2B 1st Half
33,000
------ ------ ------ Cap Reached 7/29/2008
H-2B 2nd Half
33,0002
7,597
9,404
50,000
17,001
12/1/2008
H-2B Annual (FY 09)
66,0003 ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

1Refers to the estimated numbers of beneficiary applications needed to reach a cap, with an allowance for withdrawals, denials and revocations.
2A shortfall in the 1st half would be made up in the 2nd half.
3Visas issued plus beneficiaries changing status already in the United States.


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