The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no longer accepting petitions from American employers seeking to hire temporary non-agricultural workers on H-2B visas.
In July, a one-time increase to the Fiscal Year 2017 H-2B visas cap was announced after it was determined that there were not enough qualified and willing US workers available to perform temporary non-agricultural labour. Consequently, an additional 15,000 H-2B visas were made available to American businesses that could establish they would likely suffer if they could not hire all the workers requested in their Fiscal Year 2017 petitions.
Having now received the required number of applications, USCIS has now stopped accepting petitions and will reject any new applications that are received after 15th September.
In its commitment to protect US workers, USCIS required petitioning employers to attest that their business would likely suffer irreparable harm if they could not hire all their requested H-2B workers before the end of the fiscal year. Some employers were also required to conduct a fresh round of recruitment efforts for US workers before being allowed to petition for additional foreign workers.
Petitions that have been submitted but are not approved by USCIS before 1st October will be denied, and any associated fees will not be refunded.
USCIS will continue to accept Fiscal Year 2017 H-2B petitions for workers who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.
Article published 20th September 2017