H-2B visa quota for first half of 2009 filled

The 33,000 H-2B temporary worker visas available for the first half of the 2009 have already been taken. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will use a random selection process to determine which petitions received before the cut-off date of July 29, 2008, will be approved for H-2B visas and will return the application fee for petitions that are not selected.

Petitions for workers who are currently in H-2B status do not count towards the cap, which is congressionally mandated.

USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:

· Extend the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States
· Change the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extend their stay or
· Allow current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay.

For more information about the H-2B work program, call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.