USCIS announced on Aug. 6 that they had reopened the fiscal year 2009 H-2B petition filing period and would immediately accept new H-2B petitions. Although on Jan. 7, 2009, USCIS stated it accepted and approved a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated annual cap of 66,000, the Department of State received far fewer than expected requests for H-2B visas and as a result, has issued only 40,640 H-2B visas for fiscal year 2009 to date. This means that there are approximately 25,000 visas that may go unused, as they have not been granted. Because of the low visa issuance rate, USCIS is reopening the filing period to allow employers to file additional petitions for qualified H- 2B temporary foreign nonagricultural workers.