The Fiscal year 2019 is witnessing a high demand for the US H-2B Visas. The first half cap for FY 2019 was reached by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services on 6 December itself. This was also the completion of one of the briefest cap period for the first half of a year in last 5 years.
The Department of Labor made an announcement in July 2018 for equitably addressing the high demand. It said that H-2B petitions would be selected for adjudication depending on the date of receipt. The time of receipt would be noted to the millisecond for all applications received after 3 July 2018.
H-2B Visas are offered to provisional non-agricultural overseas workers. USCIS said that the total number of visas subject to cap available in this stream was outnumbered by the number of received applications. This indicated that high demand for the US H-2B Visas continues to increase, as quoted by the JDSUPRA.
The US Congress authorized issuing 15,000 extra H-2B Visas in the FYs 2017 and 2018. This was after learning that US employers were finding it tough to fill all job vacancies with eligible US workers. The cap for these visas is fixed at 66,000 for each fiscal year. This is divided equally between the first and second half of the fiscal year (1 October through 31 March and 1 April through 30 September).
A variety of jobs are covered under the H-2B Visas. This includes Warehouse workers, Landscapers, Amusement Park workers, Janitors, House Keepers, and Hotel Staff among others.
The application period for H-2B Visas filing has commenced from 1 January 2019 for the second half of FY 2019. It is expected that the semiannual cap for April-September will be reached on the same day when the filing period begins.
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