USCIS has announced that the H-2B nonimmigrant visa quota has been reached. USCIS has conducted the lottery on February 20 and petitions that have not bee selected will be returned to the companies. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. Which means that to qualify as a H-2B job, the employment needs to be one of: a recurring seasonal need; intermittent need; peak-load need; and one-time occurrence. Examples of a H-2B job can be an amusement park program coordinator for the summer, seasonal housekeeper, seasonal cook, or even Olympic House chef.
Typically, USCIS approves H-2A and H-2B petitions only for nationals of countries that the secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. However, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions, including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States. For more information about the H-2 visas, please click here.
The H-2B cap for each fiscal year is 66,000, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30). USCIS will begin adjudication of the selected H-2B petitions and will notify selected petitioners of their decision afterwards.
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