• USCIS Reopens FY 2015 H-2B Cap, Creating Another Opportunity for Sponsorship of Temporary Employment This Summer
  • August 18, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • In an unprecedented move, USCIS announced that it has reopened the second half of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 H-2B cap for temporary non-agricultural workers, providing employers with a new - though potentially very limited - opportunity to sponsor workers for positions with start dates through September 30, 2015. This announcement reverses the agency’s prior determination that the annual 66,000 H-2B cap was exhausted on March 26.

    Why USCIS is Reopening the FY 2015 H-2B Cap

    Though the H-2B cap for each FY is 66,000, USCIS accepts filings in excess of this number to account for petition withdrawals, revocations and denials, as well as cases in which employers ultimately employ fewer H-2B workers than reflected in their petitions.

    This year, USCIS closed the cap after it approved 3,900 petitions for about 77,000 beneficiaries. After monitoring actual visa utilization, however, USCIS concluded that the number of H-2B visas issued to date was substantially less than initially projected. Thus, the agency is allowing employers to petition for the unspecified number of H-2B visas that remain for FY 2015.

    What This Means for Employers

    Employers with an immediate need for temporary non-agricultural employees should file petitions with USCIS immediately, because the remaining FY 2015 visas are likely to be exhausted quickly. Quota numbers for FY 2016 remain available for start dates of October 1, 2015 or later.