H-2B visas are sold out for fiscal year 2018.

The available H-2B visas for fiscal year 2018 were exhausted, so no more petitions are being accepted for the period ending September 30.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving H-2B visa petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2018 on February 21 and in the first five business days, 2,700 H-2B visa applications were received requesting approximately 47,000 workers, exceeding the number of H-2B visas available.

By fiscal year 2018 there were only 66,000. H-2B visas, which are divided and distributed in two stages. The first 33,000 visas were granted in 2017 for employees who started working in the first half of this fiscal year (October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018). The other 33,000 are for workers starting work in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30, 2018).

Due to high demand, USCIS conducted a lottery to select the finalists. The government will return the applications and fees submitted for visa processing to petitioners who were not selected in the lottery.

H-2B visas authorize foreign nationals to come to the United States for a limited period of time to work in industries that require seasonal employees, such as hotel, ski resort or amusement park employees.

Requests exempted from the maximum regulatory amount

  • H-2B workers who are currently in the United States and are requesting an extension of stay that may change the terms of their employment or change employers.
  • Fish egg processing workers, technicians or supervisors.
  • Individuals who are working or offering services from November 28, 2009 through December 31, 2019 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.