H-2B visas run out

There are no more H-2B visas available for the first half of fiscal year 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received enough petitions to reach the maximum number of H-2B visas authorized by Congress for the first half of fiscal year 2016.

The H-2B visas are used to bring foreign nationals to the United States for a limited period of time to work in industries that require more employees during a season, such as hotel, ski resort or amusement park employees.

March 15, 2016 was the final date by which new petitions could be received from temporary nonagricultural (H-2B) workers applying to begin employment before April 1, 2016.

With the following exceptions, new H-2B visa petitions received after March 15 will be denied.

Requests exempted from the maximum regulatory amount

* For fiscal year 2016 only, "returning worker" petitions. These petitions were already counted against the statutory maximum amount for fiscal years 2013, 2014 or 2015.
* 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.
* Workers on active duty from November 28, 2009 through December 31, 2019 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.

To avoid processing delays, petitioners who include in their petition H-2B workers who are returning to the United States should clearly write "H-2B Returning Workers" on the front cover and in a prominent place on the envelope.