The Senate recently agreed to include a provision in the Commerce Appropriation Bill which would extend the H-2B Returning Worker program for one additional year. Last year, Congress passed a one year extension of this provision. However, the provision expired on September 30, 2007. The provision allows qualified foreign nationals who were previously counted against the H-2B numerical cap and one of the three fiscal years preceding the current fiscal year to obtain H-2B status outside of the annual H-2B cap limitation of 66,000. As indicated in our firm's previous Immigration Update, the first-half of the H-2B quota for fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008) was met on October 1, 2007, the first day of the government’s new fiscal year. Because this Returning Worker provision was included in the Senate's Commerce Appropriations Bill but was not included in the House's Commerce Appropriations Bill, a conference committee will be appointed to reconcile the differences in the bills. However, it is assumed that this provision will be included in the final conference bill. Additional information about whether the Returning Worker provision will be contained in the final Commerce Appropriations Bill, will be contained in our firm's future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.