In a recent development, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the cap for the additional 20,716 H-2B visas designated for returning workers in the first half of fiscal year 2024. These visas have start dates on or before March 31, 2024, as part of the H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule (FY 2024 TFR). The final receipt date for petitions requesting supplemental H-2B visas under the FY 2024 first-half returning worker allocation was January 9, 2024.
However, there is still an opportunity for employers and petitioners. USCIS is actively accepting petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers with start dates on or before March 31, 2024, for the additional 20,000 visas allocated to nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. These are part of the country-specific allocation, as well as for individuals who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.
The FY 2024 TFR, which facilitated these visa allocations, was published on November 17, 2023, with an immediate effective date. USCIS promptly began accepting H-2B petitions for the 20,716 returning worker allocation for the first half of FY 2024 and the 20,000 allocation for nationals of specified countries who are exempt from the returning worker requirement.
For petitioners with start dates on or before March 31, 2024, whose workers were not accepted under the 20,716 returning worker allocation, we encourage you to consider filing under the country-specific allocation while visa slots are still available. As of January 12, 2024, USCIS has received petitions for 4,500 workers under the 20,000 visas reserved for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Stay informed with the latest updates regarding H-2B visas and immigration matters. If you have any questions or need assistance with your visa petitions, our experienced team at Jeelani Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today for expert guidance and support.