DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2022, the agency announced Tuesday. The visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for certain temporary jobs.

In August 2021, President Biden directed the secretary of homeland security to increase the statutory limit from 22,000 to 33,000 H-2B immigrant visas per half-year. The cap for the first half of fiscal year 2022 was reached Sept. 30.

Covered employees, LeadingAge previously told the McKnight’s Business Daily, could be employed as short-term personal care aides, nursing assistants and home health aides.

Friday was the final receipt date for H-2B cap-subject worker petitions requesting an employment start date on or after April 1 and before Oct. 1. USCIS said it would reject any cap-subject H-2B petitions received after last Friday for workers with a starting date within that time frame. The agency, however, said it still will consider petitions that are exempt from the managed H-2B cap. Those would include, for example, petitions for current H-2B workers in the United States who wish to extend their stays and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers.

The secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the Department of Labor, increased the number of supplemental visas it will issue by 20,000, in accordance with time-limited legal authority. The increase applies to “those businesses that are suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm, as attested by the employer on a new attestation form.”

Had the H-2B cap of 33,000 visas not been met in the first half of the fiscal year, USCIS would have automatically made those unused numbers available for use during the second half of the fiscal year. Unused fiscal year cap-subject H-2B visas,  however, do not carry over to the following fiscal year.