United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they have received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014.
March 14 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2014. According to their website at www.uscis.gov, “The final receipt date is when we have received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the statutory limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the first half of FY 2014. There will not be any carry over spots from the first half to the second half of FY 2014.”
The H-2B classification applies to an alien coming temporarily to engage in non-agricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, a peak load need or a one-time occurrence. You can find out more about this category by clicking on Temporary Alien Labor to Meet Temporary or Seasonal Needs (H-2A & H-2B).
So what does this mean for employers who have pending cases seeking H-2B employees for the summer of 2014? Really all it means is that your requested employees can’t start until after April 1, 2014. This can be problematic for employers who currently have a petition pending with USCIS which requests a start date prior to April 1, 2014.
USCIS has indicated that they will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions that meet the following two criteria: (1) Request an employment start date before April 1, 2014; and (2) were received after March 14, 2014. Should an employer’s petition be rejected, it will be returned to the employer. At that point, the employer will need to evaluate if all of the included documents are sufficient to re-file requesting a later start date. This is a complex issue that an employer may want to consult an experienced immigration attorney to determine.
If you have any H-2B cap or immigration-related questions or concerns, please contact Berardi Immigration Law today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.