What is H2B visa?
The H2B working visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter into the U.S. temporarily and engage in nonagricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, a peak load need, or a one-time occurrence.
Note: This visa is also used for entertainers going on a tour, for film workers or professional minor league players
The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural work, which may be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent.
There is a 66,000 per year limit on the number of foreign workers who may receive H-2B status during each USCIS fiscal year (October through September). The process for obtaining H-2B certification is similar to, but less extensive and time consuming, than permanent certification.
I. Benefits of H-2B Visa
A. You can enter the U.S. for a temporary work and enjoy all employee benefits
B. You can bring your dependents to stay with you in the U.S.
C. You can freely travel outside U.S. on this visa
D. You can change jobs if you can show a new job offer and have a new petition approved on your behalf
II. Requirements for the H-2B Visa
A. Criteria for Determining Employer's Eligibility
The employer must satisfy the following conditions to import foreign workers under the H-2B visa:
1. The job and the employer's need must be one time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent
2. The job must be for less than one year
3. There must be no qualified and willing U.S. workers available for the job
B. Criteria for Determining Employee's Eligibility
You are eligible for the H-2B Visa provided:
1. You have a valid job offer from a US employer to perform temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work
2. You intend to return to your home country on expiration of the visa
III. Applying for H-2B Visa
You cannot apply for an H-2B visa as an individual. A U.S. employer must sponsor you for an H-2B visa.
A. Applying for Temporary Labor Certification
The certification is designed to ensure that the admission of foreigners to work in this country on a temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, or working conditions of U.S. workers.
The U.S. employer must file the Labor Certification at the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) at least 45 days before the day on which workers are needed. In emergency situations, the SWA may waive the time period specified, provided the SWA has an opportunity to obtain sufficient labor market information on an expedited basis in order to make a determination of U.S. worker availability.
The Labor Certification application may be filed using any of the following methods:
1. Filed in person with the appropriate regional administrator and local SWA
2. Mailed to the appropriate regional administrator and local office of the SWA by certified mail, return receipt requested
3. Delivered by guaranteed commercial delivery to the appropriate regional administrator and local office of the SWA.
The H-2B certification is valid for up to 364 days. As temporary or seasonal non-agricultural employment, the work is performed at certain seasons of the year or for a limited time period of less than one year when the employer can show that the need for the foreign worker is truly temporary.
B. Filing the H-2B Petition
An H-2B temporary worker visa petition is filed on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-129, along with the Form I-129H supplement and the approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Your H-2B temporary worker visa petition must include:
1. A valid temporary non-agricultural labor certification, or U.S. workers do not appear at the work site, a copy of the Department of Labor's denial of a certification and appeal, and evidence that qualified domestic labor is unavailable
2. Copies of evidence that each foreign worker named in the petition meets the minimum job requirements stated in the certification
C. Applying for the H-2B Visa at a U.S. Consulate
To apply for the H-2B visa, you must furnish the original or copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your visa application must include the following documents:
1. DOS Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
2. DOS Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application, for all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45
3. A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
4. Two identical color photographs showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
5. Proof that you meet the minimum job requirements stated in the labor certification application
An H-2B visa is usually issued for a period of one year, and can be extended by two one-year extensions for a maximum of three years in H-2B visa.
Chief Liaison Officer of the Jamaica Central Labour Organisation, Barbara DaCosta, informed the meeting that earnings from the Overseas Employment Programme amounted to US$154.32 million ($10.03 billion), in 2006.
Earnings under the H-2A and H-2B work programmes were US$82.67 million, and of that sum, workers remitted approximately US$13.79 million in savings to Jamaica. Savings from the government and private work programmes totalled some US$25.74 million.
The Overseas Work Programme recruited 15,037 persons in 2006 and of that amount 3,549 persons held H-2A visas and 11,488 had H-2B visas.
The H2B visa is available to employers of foreign unskilled workers not working in the agricultural field. This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. he duration of the visa is limited to the employer's need for the temporary workers.The maximum authorized period is one year. However, the employer may extend the duration of the visa up to three years.An H-2B visa is granted to skilled and unskilled workers that fulfill the needs of the employee, that other Americans cannot. The idea is that you are being granted a visa because you have skills and abilities that are going to help an American company.