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FY2023 First Half H-2B Visa Cap Met
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Yesterday, The Department of Homeland Security announced that the FY23 first half supplemental returning worker cap was met. January 30th was the last date DHS receipted petitions. DHS had released an additional 18,216 returning worker visas for employers with a date of need through March 31, 2023.

The Seasonal Employment Alliance (SEA) reports that almost every SEA member who requested workers towards this allocation will be receiving them. "This is a significant victory. What a relief it is for many of our members to receive their returning workers in February or March instead of the middle of the summer," said Gray Delaney, Executive Director of the Seasonal Employment Alliance.  

Focus now shifts to the second half of the 2023 Cap, where a record number of new worker petitions have already been received.  Fortunately, DHS announced cap relief in early December.  Supplemental visas for the second half of the cap will be released as follows:

  • For the early second half of FY 2023 (April 1 to May 14): 16,500 visas limited to returning workers who were issued H-2B visas or held H-2B status in fiscal years 2020, 2021, or 2022, regardless of country of nationality. These early second half of FY 2023 petitions must request employment start dates from April 1, 2023, to May 14, 2023. Furthermore, employers must file these petitions no earlier than 15 days after the second half statutory cap (33,000 visas) is reached; and

  • For the late second half of FY 2023 (May 15 to Sept. 30): 10,000 visas limited to returning workers who were issued H-2B visas or held H-2B status in fiscal years 2020, 2021, or 2022, regardless of country of nationality. These late second half of FY 2023 petitions must request employment start dates from May 15, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2023. Furthermore, employers must file these petitions no earlier than 45 days after the second half statutory cap (33,000 visas) is reached.

  • For employers seeking nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti: There are 20,000 visas reserved for the entirety of FY 2023. Employers requesting an employment start date in the first half of FY 2023 (on or before March 31, 2023) may file such petitions immediately on or after Dec. 15, 2022. Employers requesting an employment start date in the second half of FY 2023 (on or after April 1, 2023) must file such petitions no earlier than 15 days after the second half statutory cap (33,000 visas) is reached.
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