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FY2023 H-2B Visa Second Half Cap Has Been Met
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H-2B Employees are Critical for the Amusement and Fair Industry
A group of H-2B employees manned a cotton candy trailer for Wade Shows at the South Florida Fair. H-2B workers make up a majority of workers for carnivals and concessionaires across the United States and are critical for the industry's survival.

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This morning, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it met the FY23 statutory second half H-2B visa cap. February 27th was DHS' final petition receipt date.  While overall visa demand continues to outpace supply, one positive note from this year's filing process is that it appears more Group B applications were filed with DHS prior to the cap than in past years.     

DHS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 16,500 returning worker visas on March 14th. Per regulation, DHS will accept petitions over a five-day window before determining if a lottery is necessary. We believe a lottery is unlikely and that DHS will thus continue to accept petitions until the supplemental cap is met. We expect most of Group C, Group D and possibly a minority of Group E employers to receive their returning workers from this supplemental visa release. 

As of Tuesday, February 28th, DOL has issued a first action on 94% of Group C applications. 

As of February 16th, 5,306 of the 20,000 available Northern Triangle positions are either approved or pending. According to the Seasonal Employment Alliance (SEA), they do not expect this cap to be met. Northern Triangle workers can and should be considered by any H-2B employer who might not receive DOL certification in time to request visas from the other allotments (this includes most of Group E and all of Groups F and G).

If you are considering Northern Triangle workers for this season, the SEA encourages you to begin this process as soon as possible. The process of recruiting and facilitating workers takes time, especially if you are recruiting new workers. Starting now will help minimize delays in worker arrivals. Considering that these visas have already been released, there is no need for workers to be delayed months into your season if you engage in proper planning now. Ideally, as soon as you have your USCIS approval, you can immediately proceed to scheduling your workers' appointments.
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