USCIS Meets Supplemental Cap for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for FY 2022

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By:  Navdeep Meamber

Recently a temporary final rule added an additional 35,000 H-2B nonimmigrant visas for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2022. Of these, 23,500 visas were set aside for returning workers. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now received enough petitions to fill the supplemental cap for returning workers. The agency will continue to accept more petitions for the 11,500 H-2B visas allotted for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti.

Within the first five business days of the filing period, USICS received more petitions than the additional 23,500 visas set aside for returning workers. A computer-generated process was used to make a random selection of 23,500 returning visas for FY 2022. USCIS completed the selection process on May 27, 2022 as per Department of Homeland Security regulations.

Any petitions for the returning worker allotment received after May 25, 2022 will be automatically rejected and returned to the petitioner along with all associated filing fees. Petitions that have been accepted for processing will have a May 31, 2022 receipt date. If a petitioner filed for premium processing, the processing time will begin on the receipt date.

Petitioners who were not selected for the returning worker visa can file for the remaining unallotted 11,500 visas if they meet the nationality requirements. The final date for filing petitions for nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti is September 15, 2022, or whenever the cap is met, whichever comes first.

USCIS will accept H-2B petitions for workers filing from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti, and from individuals who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes:

  • Current H-2B workers in the United States looking to extend their visas and potentially change the terms of their employment or employer;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, supervisors of fish roe processing; and
  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands or Guam from November 28, 2009 to December 31, 2029.

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More information is accessible on the Temporary Increase in Nonimmigrant H-2B Visas for FY 2022 webpage. For case-specific questions or help filing your application, contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Chugh, LLP.

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