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Supplemental H-2B Visa Returning Worker Cap Met for First Cap of 2024
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FIRST HALF RETURNING WORKER SUPPLEMENTAL CAP MET:  USCIS announced on Friday that the first half returning worker supplemental cap was met on January 9th, the final receipt date for petitions requesting supplemental H-2B visas under the FY 2024 first half returning worker allocation. On or around March 6th appears to be the latest start date receipted.

We initially projected early March to be the cutoff date. Given the recent data, we were hopeful it would remain open to allow mid-March start dates to get through but unfortunately, this was not the case. It is likely a higher percentage of the positions certified had corresponding returning workers than previous releases. 

If you were caught by the cap, there is still a pathway for you to get workers this year and maybe even your Returning Workers. You should work with your agent/attorney on the best strategy for your situation. 

SECOND HALF CAP RELIEF: DHS plans to release an additional 19,000 Returning Worker visas no sooner than 15 days after the second half cap is met (likely around mid-March). This is 2,500 more visas than were allocated than last year. We project all capped employers assigned to Groups B-D will receive their Returning Workers under the supplemental cap (last year about 95% of Group D employers received their Returning Workers). This is, of course, under the condition the employer receives a Notice of Acceptance. It is likely that a portion of Group E assignees will also receive workers under the April 1st supplemental cap. 

DHS also plans to release an additional 5,000 RW visas for employers with a start date of May 15th-September 30th. Note that your requested start date on your labor certification must fall within this time period to be eligible. 

DHS has also released 20,000 additional visas for new or returning workers from the Northern Central American (NCA) countries of Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. We do not expect these visas to be fully utilized. We will provide more information on the process of requesting NCA workers in a future email (or you can attend our annual meeting to fully immerse yourself). 

Employers in Groups F and G will likely have to either rely on the May 15th allocation returning worker visas or request Northern Central American workers. 
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