March 2024 – Counsel Corner

Dear ULS Partners,

We are excited to see your H-2A/H-2B workers returning to the U.S. for a new season. We had one group of fellas so excited to be headed back, they started sending us copies of their new visas and I-94 cards from the bus. We love to see it! Please continue to keep us posted on your lottery updates and/or when you expect your teams to head back stateside.

Immigration Updates

H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY 2024

USCIS just announced that it has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2024. March 7, 2024, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date on or after April 1, 2024, and before Oct. 1, 2024. All cap-subject H-2B petitions received after March 7, 2024 will be returned/rejected.

Filing Dates for Second Half of FY 2024 Supplemental Visas

Below are the filing start dates for each of the remaining supplemental visa allocations under the temporary final rule:

  • For employers seeking workers who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, regardless of whether such nationals are returning workers: USCIS will begin accepting petitions for employers requesting an employment start date from April 1, 2024, to Sept. 30, 2024, on March 22, 2024. USCIS began accepting petitions from employers with employment start dates from Oct. 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, in November 2023. A cap count for this country-specific allocation is available on the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2024 page.
  • For employers seeking returning workers for the early second half of FY 2024 (April 1 to May 14): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 19,000 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on March 22, 2024.
  • For employers seeking returning workers for the late second half of FY 2024 (May 15 to Sept. 30): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 5,000 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on April 22, 2024.

Filing Fees Increase

As many of you are already aware from last month’s Counsel Corner, the USCIS government filing fees are increasing on April 1, 2024 with no grace period.

ULS Updates

Our ULS team is also growing and working diligently to support your companies and your employees. Our newest Senior Paralegal, Loren Malaker, comes to ULS with over 20 years of experience in U.S. employment-based and family-based Immigration law. Her area of expertise includes PERM (Stage 1), I-140’s (Stage 2), and green card applications (Stage 3), as well as professional work visas including TN, E-3, and H-1B’s. Combined, Loren and Claire Libert, our ULS Practice Manager, hold 45 years of experience in the field. You cannot get a finer duo than these two PERM nerds. Please join me in welcoming Loren to the ULS Team.

Anna Ramirez, our veteran Senior Paralegal, Loren, and Claire have multiple PERM applications in preparation for filing throughout the Spring and Summer months, and the ULS Intake Team, Selene, Cynthia, and Camila, will be reaching out to your employees for updated information, if they have not done so already.

Kelly Bambino and Mike King are also available to discuss alternative H-2B strategies. Mike King has played every H-2B card in the deck and is a valuable resource for contingency plans should you find yourself in a position to need one.

Brodie Bruner
It is with a very heavy heart that we inform everyone of the passing of Brodie Bruner, EVP of Weathermatic. As many of you know, Weathermatic and ULS share common ownership under Mike Mason, and I have worked for Weathermatic and under Brodie from a very early age up through attending law school. Brodie was a father figure in mine and my brothers’ lives, investing into us since we were born. He was family to us and there has never been a more kind, caring, high integrity, and morally good man. He will be greatly missed, but we have his lasting impact and legacy to honor and remember him by. A GoFundMe has been created to help Brodie’s family cover the expenses related to his funeral and medical expenses. Please feel free to donate here and share this link with others in the industry:

Elliott Mason President and General Counsel, ULSElliott S. Mason
President and General Counsel