USCIS Announces H-2B Procedures

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it has received enough H-2B petitions to meet this year’s congressionally mandated cap of 66,000 new workers. USCIS stopped accepting any new H-2B petitions on March 9, 2004 subject to the FY 2004 annual cap.

USCIS will use the following procedure for the remainder of FY 2004:

  • USCIS will return all petitions subject to the annual cap (along with the filing fee and, if applicable, the premium processing fee) that are filed after March 9, 2004.

  • Petitioners may resubmit or file new petitions when they have received labor certification approval for work to start on or after October 1, 2004.

Petitions for current H-2B workers do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-2B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States.

  • Change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers.

  • Allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers.

To find more information or discussions to raise the H-2B cap, visit

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