H-2B Visas For Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
An H-2B visa allows a U.S. employer to hire essential workers on a temporary basis to perform nonagricultural jobs. Our immigration attorneys at Wilson Law Group assist employers and employees with nonimmigrant visa petitions, like H-2B visas.
What Are H-2B Visas?
Like the H-1B, the H-2B is another temporary worker visa. Unlike the H-1B visa, it does not require that the foreign national possess a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Instead, the H-2B visa is for any qualified temporary or seasonal worker. Additionally, the H-2B visa requires the filing of a Temporary Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and an approval from USDOL, prior to submitting the petition to USCIS. A Temporary Labor Certification is similar to a PERM Labor Certification Application for a permanent position. The essential difference is that the employer for an H-2B is substantiating that it cannot fill temporary positions.
Requirements Of The H-2B Visa
To qualify for an H-2B visa, an employer must meet various requirements, including:
- Show that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the temporary work
- Verify that the employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
- Verify that its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary
In addition, the employer must obtain a Temporary Labor Certification from the USDOL and assure the Department of Labor that it will pay the prevailing wage or higher.
How Long Is An H-2B Visa Valid?
The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant H-2B validity for up to the period of time authorized on the Temporary Labor Certification. The H-2B status may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year each. A new, valid Temporary Labor Certification covering the requested time must accompany each extension request. The maximum period of stay for the H-2B classification is three years. A person who has held H-2B status for a total of three years must depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three months before seeking readmission with an H-2B visa. Additionally, previous time spent in other H or L classifications counts toward total H-2B time.
It is important to note that H-2B visas may only be approved for nationals of designated countries.
Spouses And Minor Children Of H-2B Visa Holders
H-2B worker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant status. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status but can attend school.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Our immigration attorneys at Wilson Law Group have extensive experience with all types of temporary visas. Contact our office by calling 612-430-8022 or sending an email to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal matter.