Good news for Your Family or Friends Back Home to Get A Work Visa to the United States
Welcome to our August 2023 edition of the Zepeda Law Firm Immigration Newsletter. This month, we’re focusing on the H2b visa. The H2B visa is a United States work visa intended for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work. This could include industries like hospitality, tourism, and construction.It allows U.S. emloyers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.
Contact our office so that we may help you or the company you wish to work for withthis process. This is one of the many pathways to finding an opportunity towork in the U.S. Please spread the news to your families and friends in your foreign countries.
Qualifying for an H2B Visa:
To qualify for H2B nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner must establish that:
- There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
- Employing H2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- Its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary.
The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need, or intermittent need.
Latest Updates on H2B Visas:
The H2B visa has a cap limit set by Congress at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October1 -March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30). Any unused numbers from the first half ofthe fiscal year will be available for employers seeking to hire H2B workersduring the second half of the fiscal year. However, unused H2B numbers from onefiscal year do not carry over into the next.
- Global Reach: The H2B visa is not limited to a specific set of countries. As of November 10, 2022, nationals from a wide range of countries are eligible to participate in the H2B program.
- Cap Limit: The H2B visa has a cap limit set by Congress at 66,000 per fiscal year. This cap is split evenly between the two halves of the fiscal year. However, unused H2B numbers from one fiscal year do not carry over into the next.
- Family Friendly: If you have an H2B visa, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may seek admission in H4 nonimmigrant classification. However, they are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status.
- Seasonal Work: The H2B visa is specifically designed for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work. This could include industries like hospitality, tourism, and construction.
- Extension Possibility: The H2B visa can be granted for the duration of the employer’s need, up to a maximum of one year. However, the visa can be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year each. The maximum period of stay in H-2B classification is 3 years.
FAQs about H2B Visas:
Q: What is the process for obtaining an H2B visa?
A: The process involves three steps:
- The petitioner must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H2B workers with the U.S. Department of Labor (or Guam DOL if the employment will be in Guam).
- After receiving a temporary labor certification, the petitioner must file Form I-129 with USCIS.
- After USCIS approves Form I-129, prospective H2B workers who are outside the United States must apply for an H-2B visa with the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad and then seek admission to the United States with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a U.S. port of entry.
Q: How long can I stay in the U.S. on an H2B visa?
A: The H2B visa can be granted for the duration of the employer’s need, up to a maximum of one year. However, the visa can be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to 1 year each. The maximum period of stay in H-2B classification is 3 years.
Q: Can my family accompany me if I have an H2B visa?
A: Yes, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may seek admission in H4 nonimmigrant classification. However, they are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status.
Start Preparing Now for the H2B Visa Application!
We want to bring to your attention an important date for those considering applying for an H2B visa. The next targeted start date for H2B employment isApril 1, 2024, running through September 30, 2024. However, it’s crucial to note that the preparation for this process should start well in advance.Given the complexities of the application process, including labor certification and petition filing, we recommend starting your preparations atleast 7-8 monthsbefore the start date. This means that now is the perfect time to begin gearingup for the next H2B visa cycle. Starting early will give you ample time to gather necessary documents, fulfill requirements, and address any potentialissues that might arise. Remember, a well-prepared application is the first step towards a successful H2B visa process!