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USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of Fiscal Year 2009
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2009 (FY2009). USCIS is hereby notifying the public that Jan. 7, 2009 was the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to October 1, 2009. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the second half of FY2009.

USCIS will reject the H-2B visa petitions for new workers seeking employment start dates prior to October 1, 2009 that arrive after Jan. 7, 2009.

If deemed necessary, USCIS may apply a computer-generated random selection process to all the H-2B visa petitions that are subject to the cap and received on Jan. 7, 2009 in order to select the number of H-2B visa petitions needed to meet the cap. USCIS will reject, and return the fee, for all cap-subject petitions not randomly selected.

Petitions for workers who are currently in H-2B status do not count towards the congressionally mandated bi-annual H-2B cap. USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:
  • Extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extend their stay; or
  • Allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay.
Cap Type Cap Beneficiaries Approved Beneficiaries Pending Beneficiaries Target1 Total Date of Last Count
H-2B 1st Half
33,000
------ ------ ------ Cap Reached 7/29/2008
H-2B 2nd Half
33,000 2
------
------
------
Cap Reached
01/07/2009
H-2B Annual (FY 09)
66,0003 ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

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


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