Are you a foreign national with experience in any of the following jobs?
Food & Beverage Server
Ski Lift Operator
Dining Room Attendant
Line & Prep Cook
If you answered “Yes,” then you may be eligible for the H-2B visa! The H-2B visa category is for temporary non-agricultural workers (such as the ones listed above). The H-2B visa category allows employers in the U.S. to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to fill temporary jobs when there is a high demand. However, potential H-2B visa applicants must be from an eligible H-2B visa country. Additionally, the U.S. employer must submit a Temporary Labor Certification Application to the Department of Labor (DOL) before the employer can petition for an H-2B visa applicant.
WHICH COUNTRY’S NATIONALS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR H-2B VISAS?
Effective Jan. 18, 2016, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2B program:
Papua New Guinea
A foreign national whose country is not included on this list may only be granted an H-2B visa if the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the U.S. interest for that foreign national to be granted the H-2B visa.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN EMPLOYER TO FILE FOR A FOREIGN WORKER FOR AN H-2B VISA?
To qualify for H-2B visa classification, an employer must show:
- That the job is temporary: the employer’s need is considered temporary if the job is for only one-time, for a season, on a peak-load need, etc.;
- That there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the job;
- That hiring the foreign worker will not decrease pay for U.S. workers in similar jobs or adversely affect the working conditions of similar U.S. workers.
WHAT IS THE BASIC H-2B VISA PROGRAM PROCESS?
The following are the steps for the H-2B visa program:
- The employer submits a Temporary Labor Certification application to the Department of Labor (DOL);
- After receiving a temporary labor certification, the employer must submit a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) form requesting H-2B workers;
- Prospective H-2B workers may apply for the H-2B visa with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN THE U.S. ON AN H-2B VISA?
An H-2B visa holder may remain in the U.S. for the period of time approved on the Temporary Labor Certification, usually no longer than one (1) year. The H-2B visa may be extended in one-year increments. The maximum period of time that an H-2B visa holder can remain in the U.S. is three (3) years. After a stay of the maximum three years, an H-2B visa holder must leave and remain outside the United States for a continuous period of three (3) months, before seeking readmission as an H-2B visa holder.
CAN MY FAMILY ACCOMPANY ME TO THE U.S. ON AN H-2B VISA?
Yes. Spouses and unmarried children under twenty-one (21) years of age of an H-2B visa holder may seek admission on an H-4 visa. H-4 dependent visa holders are not allowed to work in the United States.
If you are a United States employer who is unable to find a suitably skilled worker in your industry, the H-2B visa category can help you hire a foreign worker. Although there are no educational requirements for an H-2B visa, the worker must be from an eligible H-2B visa country. If you are a foreign national and have entered the United States on a different visa, you can change your status to an H-2B if you have an employer who is interested in sponsoring you.