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  • H-2B work visa program

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    The H-2B visa is a non-immigrant visa program that allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign non-agricultural workers to fill temporary jobs.

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    The H-2B visa is a temporary work visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the United States for non-agricultural jobs. The employment must be temporary, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak-load need, or intermittent need. Hotels, restaurants, cleaning, construction and many more.


    Some benefits of the H-2B visa include:

    • Working in the US temporarily
    • Bringing dependent spouse and children to the US
    • Traveling outside the US
    • Changing jobs or transferring to a new employer with a new job offer and a new petition approved

    To obtain an H-2B visa, a U.S. employer or agent must file Form I-129 on the applicant's behalf. The H-2B Certification can be filed no earlier than 120 days before the expected start date of the employment. The employer must also provide public notice regarding the job opening to potential U.S. employees.

    Due to the limited number of H-2B visas compared to the demand, USCIS allocates visas based on a randomly generated lottery system.

    Here are some key details about the H-2B visa:

    Qualifications and Eligibility

    Temporary Need

    Employers must demonstrate a temporary need for the services or labor the H-2B workers will provide.

    Non-Agricultural Work

    The jobs must be non-agricultural in nature, such as landscaping, hospitality, construction, or other seasonal industries.

    No U.S. Workers Available

    Employers must prove that there are no U.S. workers available to fill the positions and that the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

    Application Process

    Labor Certification

    Employers must obtain a temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) by demonstrating the need for foreign workers.

    Petition Filing

    Once the labor certification is approved, the employer files Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    USCIS Approval

    Upon approval, the employer receives a Notice of Approval (Form I-797).

    Consular Processing

    Workers must apply for an H-2B visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.

    The 3 4 Rule

    All H-2B employers must fulfill a three-quarters guarantee. The employer must guarantee to offer the worker employment for a total number of work hours equal to at least three-fourths of the workdays in each 12-week period (or 6-week period for job orders lasting less than 120 days).


    Filing Fees

    Employers are responsible for filing fees associated with Form I-129.

    Visa Fees

    Workers may be required to pay visa application fees.


    Employer Sponsorship

    An eligible U.S. employer must sponsor the H-2B visa for foreign workers.

    Education Requirements

    No Formal Education Requirement

    There are no specific educational requirements, but workers must possess the skills and experience necessary for the job.


    Derivative Visas

    Spouses and unmarried children under 21 may accompany H-2B workers to the U.S. under H-4 visas.

    Green Card Application

    Non-Immigrant Status

    The H-2B visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa, and it does not provide a direct path to a green card.

    Separate Green Card Process

    If H-2B workers wish to pursue permanent residency, they must do so through a separate employment-based green card process.

    H-2B Lottery

    Due to the limited number of H-2B visas compared to the demand, USCIS allocates visas based on a randomly generated lottery system.

    Duration of Stay

    Temporary Stay

    H-2B workers are allowed to stay in the U.S. for the period specified in the approved petition, usually up to one year, with the possibility of extension for up to one year at a time, for a maximum of three years. After this period, anyone wishing to continue working in the US on n H-2B visa will need to remain outside the US for at least three months before applying for readmission.

    Visa Transferability

    H-2B visa is not transferable from one employer to another. If the H-2B visa holder wants to work for new employer in similar position, the H-2B visa holder would need a new H-2B visa. The new employer must submit ETA Form 750 and begin a new H-2B visa process.

    It's important to note that immigration policies can change, and it's advisable to consult the official USCIS website or seek legal advice for the most up-to-date information.

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