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DHS and DOL Issue Joint Temporary Rule Increasing the H-2B Cap

DHS and DOL published a temporary rule in the Federal Register, increasing the H-2B cap for the remainder of FY2017 by an additional 15,000 visas, effective from July 19, 2017, through September 30, 2017. USCIS provided additional information regarding who can petition for these additional visas, how to file an H-2B petition under this one-time increase, filing information, and filing deadlines. Employers will be required to complete a Form ETA 9142-B-CAA, certifying that their business is in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers.

H-2B Cap reached for 2017

USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for FY2017. March 13, 2017, was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2017.

USCIS Updates the H-2B Cap Count

As of May 2, 2016, USCIS had receipted 32,620 beneficiaries towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2016. This count includes 26,426 approved and 6,194 pending beneficiaries.

USCIS Updates the H-2B Cap Count

As of April 25, 2016, USCIS had receipted 29,030 beneficiaries towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2016. This count includes 23,421 approved and 5,609 pending beneficiaries.

DOL Releases Emergency H-2B Guidance on Implementing the 2016 DOL Appropriations Act

The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 114-113), signed into law on December 18, 2015, contains several provisions in Division H, Title I impacting the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) administration of the H-2B temporary nonagricultural visa program.

Need an H-2A or H-2B?

USCIS and DHS, in consultation with DOS, have added 16 countries (Andorra, Belgium, Brunei, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Singapore, Taiwan, and Timor-Leste) to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs for 2016. The notice listing the eligible countries was published in the Federal Register today.

H2B Cap reopened

USCIS reopened the FY2015 H-2B cap today, and is now accepting petitions requesting new H-2B workers with an employment start date between April 1, 2015, and September 30, 2015. The agency explained that the number of H-2B visas actually issued by the State Department was less than the number of beneficiaries seeking consular notification that had been identified on approved petitions.

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