What Does the Processing Look Like for an H-2B Work Visa

An H-2B U.S. Work Visa allows seasonal non-agricultural workers both skilled and unskilled to get work in the United States. But first, the applicant must have a job offer at a position that has a shortage of U.S. workers who are willing or available to take the job. You must prove that you have intentions of returning home at the end of the authorized stay.

First the U.S. employer will start the procedure by advertising and recruiting for the job in an attempt to find U.S. workers instead of hiring foreign workers. If there are no suitable workers found then the employer can apply to its local State Workforce Agency (SWA) for a temporary labor certification. The SWA will then transfer the case to the U.S. Department of Labor for a final decision on the labor certification application.

Immediately after the labor certification has been approved, the U.S. employer must file a visa petition and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you are already in the U.S. during this part of the process let the U.S. employer simultaneously request that your status be changed to an H-2B worker. If you have any questions make sure to ask an immigration attorney.

The H-2B Work Visa is applicable for a wide variety of worker types which include:

  • Business trainers
  • Entertainers
  • Athletes
  • Camp Counselors
  • Ski instructors and
  • Home attendants for terminally ill patients

H-2B visa beneficiaries have the benefit of having their spouse and (children, unmarried, under age 21) accompany them into the U.S. The dependents may attend school during their stay in the U.S but cannot work legally.

Duration of the H-2B Visa

Originally an H-2B visa is good for up to one year. If the employer can show that he or she needs you for a longer period of time and you can demonstrate that you intend to return to your home country when required, the visa can be extended upon request in one year increments. Such extensions can be hard to get. The longest an H-2B Worker can stay in the U.S. is three years.

The Numbers on H-2B Visas are Somewhat Limited

Congress is in charge of setting the numerical limits for the H-2B Work Visa. Per fiscal year there is a limit that Congress sets and that is 66,000, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 to allotted for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30).

Who Qualifies for an H-2B Work Visa

To be eligible for a H-2B Work Visa, the U.S. employer must meet the following requirements:

  • They must have a need for seasonal, one-time, intermittent or peak load
  • Must have a job time-frame of less than one year
  • Must have no U.S. worker who is qualified and willing to work available for the job

To qualify for a H-2B visa requirements an employee must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have valid job offer from a U.S. employer to do seasonal or temporary work
  • You must have the correct background and abilities to perform the job
  • You must intend to return to your home country before the expiration date on the visa

Get The Help You Need

If an employer does not retain the services of an attorney, hire one yourself. An immigration lawyer can help you evaluate which visa classification is best for you for your employment purposes. Your attorney can also assist with preparing the paperwork. Call Gambacorta Law Office today at 847 443 9303 and we will gladly guide you through the process.