As of September 30th, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stopped accepting petitions for H-2B visas. The agency says it reached its limit of 33,000 petitions for the first half of fiscal year 2022 for temporary foreign workers with an employment date between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
Not all petitions are subject to the cap
The USCIS says it will continue accepting petitions for seasonal nonagricultural workers who are exempt from the congressionally-mandated cap. These include current H-2B workers already in the U.S. who:
- Extend their stay
- Change employers
- Change the terms and conditions of their employment
. H-4 spouses and children of H-2B workers do not count against the congressional limit.
H-2B visas remain a vital resource for employers
Overall, many U.S. companies have experienced worker shortages since the middle of the pandemic. H-2B visas are attractive options for many industries, such as landscaping, skiing and roofing here in Colorado that need seasonal nonagricultural employees.
The yearly demand for these work visas consistently exceeds the limit. The process can be complicated, which, combined with time-sensitive deadlines, often results in rejected applications. Employers should begin planning at least 8 months in advance if they seek to fill positions through the H-2B process.