H-2B visas for fiscal year 2019 are sold out.

The available H-2B visas for fiscal year 2019 have been exhausted, so no more petitions are being accepted for the period ending September 30.

February 19, 2019 was the final date by which new petitions could be received from temporary nonagricultural (H-2B) workers applying to start jobs before October 1, 2019.

By fiscal year 2019 there were only 66,000. H-2B visas, which are divided and distributed in two stages. The first 33,000 visas were granted in 2018 for employees who started working in the first half of this fiscal year (October 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019). The other 33,000 are for workers who begin work in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30, 2019).

Due to the high demand, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a lottery to select the finalists. The federal 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.