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H-2B Cap Hit, Call Congree Now!

Thu, March 01, 2018 3:45 PM | Anonymous

Please see the annulment below from USCIS.  

It is clear that 66% of need seasonal positions will not be filled due to the H-2B cap.  We need your help to immediately urge Congress to include H-2B cap relief in the fiscal 2018 spending bill that lawmakers are currently negotiating.  The current spending bill that funds the Federal Government runs out on March 23. We need your continued help to make sure that Congress acts.   We know many of you have repeatedly reached out to your lawmakers, but please do so again NOW.  We need your help to #saveH2B.

 What Can You Do? 

  • ·       Please call your Representative and Senators at their Washington, DC offices and stress the need for immediate cap relief.  You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to the office ask to speak to the staff person who handles H-2B issues. 
  • o    Tell them that they must include H-2B cap relief in the omnibus appropriations bill that will be negotiated between now and March 23.  Stress the fact that 66% of businesses seasonal labor needs will go unfulfilled this spring without immediate action.  Explain the specific impacts on your business and your American workforce if you cannot hire H-2B workers.
  • o    Urge your Senators and Representative to speaker to their party leaders about the need for immediate H-2B cap relief.
  • o    If they have not already done so, encourage your Senators to cosponsor the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act. S. 792, the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017 and encourage your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 2004, the Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act and HR 4207, the Small and Seasonal Business Act. 
  • ·       Please call or visit in person with your Senators and Representatives at their district offices. You can find the local contact information for your Senators and Representative on their websites or through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

    • ·       Encourage your coworkers, suppliers and customers to also reach out to their elected officials.
    • ·       Please also call and email the USCIS ombudsman’s office and encourage the Department of Homeland Security to support H-2B cap relief.  The email address is cisombudsman@hq.dhs.gov and the phone number is: 1-855-882-8100.

 WASHINGTON— On Feb. 21, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving H-2B cap-subject petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2018.

During the first five business days USCIS received approximately 2,700 H-2B cap-subject petitions requesting approximately 47,000 workers, which is more than the number of H-2B visas available. As a result, USCIS, in accordance with applicable regulations, conducted a lottery on Feb. 28 to randomly select enough petitions to meet the cap. 

USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated filing fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after Feb. 27.

In January, the Department of Labor announced a change to its process of issuing labor certifications. As a result, on Feb. 7 USCIS advised of the likely need to conduct an H-2B visa lottery for the second half of FY18. As was noted in that Feb. 7 statement, USCIS would be maintaining a flexible approach to this issue by ensuring H-2B visas were allocated fairly and would not exceed the cap.

USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from, or not counted towards, the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for the following workers:

· Current H-2B workers in the United States seeking to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;

· Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and

· Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam, until Dec. 31, 2019.

H-2B petitioners may continue to request premium processing together with their H-2B petition. However, please note that because the final receipt date was one of the first five business days of the filing season, petitions accepted in the lottery will be given a receipt date of March 1, 2018. Premium processing service for these petitions began on that receipt date.

U.S. businesses use the H-2B program to employ foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural jobs. Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30). Additional information is available on the Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants page.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).




Laurie-Ann Flanagan

Executive Vice President

D.C. Legislative and Regulatory Services, Inc.

2221 S. Clark Street, 11th Floor

Arlington, VA 22202

(202) 872-4850

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