United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on 23 March that it had received a sufficient amount of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the final six months of fiscal year 2007 (FY 2007). The limit for H-2B workers is 33,000 for the second half of the fiscal year.
The H-2B visa is for temporary workers in the United States, other than the agricultural sector. The visa has a maximum validity of one year before needing to be renewed for a duration of up to three years.
USCIS notified the public that 16 March 2007 is the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to 01 October 2007. Any petitions received after 16 March will be rejected.
Petitions for current and returning H-2B workers do not count towards the bi-annual cap. In order to qualify as a returning worker, the worker must have counted towards the H-2B cap between 01 October 2003 and 30 September 2006.
USCIS will continue to process petitions filed for:
• Extending the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States
• Changing the terms of employment for a current H-2B worker and extending their stay
• Allowing current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extending their stay
• Requesting eligible H-2B returning workers
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