H-2B Visa Program for Non-Agricultural Workers

 

H-2B Visa Program

Prospective employers can file a petition for the H-2B visa program with the USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The H-2B temporary visa is for non-agricultural workers.

An attorney who specializes in immigration and seasonal work visas is the best person to help you navigate the regulations and paperwork associated with securing these visas. Eligibility is available to companies not involved in the agricultural field.

H-2B Temporary Work Visa for Non-Agricultural Workers

The H-2B visa program provides U.S. employers and agents who meet the required regulatory specifications with a way to fill temporary jobs that are not agricultural. The U.S. agent or employer will file the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker on behalf of the prospective worker.

The petitioning employer must meet the following qualifications for the H-2B temporary work visa for non-agricultural workers:

  • Show that there are not enough willing, able, available, and qualified U.S. workers available to do the temporary work.
  • Establish that the employment of H-2B workers will not have an adverse effect on working conditions and wages of U.S. workers with similar employment.
  • Demonstrate that the need for the services is temporary whether or not the underlying job meets that classification, as follows:
    • One-Time Occurrence:
      • A temporary, short-term event has created the need for the temporary worker.
      • Workers have not been employed in the past and will not be employed in the future to fulfill this service.
    • Seasonal Need:
      • An event of pattern tied to a specific season of the year.
      • Recurring in nature.

(Cannot be claimed if the time period when the labor or service is not needed is either unpredictable, subject to change, or considered vacation for permanent employees.)

  • Peakload Need:
    • Permanent workers are regularly employed to perform the services or labor at the employment location.
    • Temporary supplementation of permanent staff at employment location is due to short-term or seasonal demand.
    • Temporary staff additions will not become a regular part of employer’s operation.
  • Intermittent Need:
    • Permanent or full-time workers have not been employed to perform the specified labor or services; and
    • May need temporary workers only intermittently or occasionally to perform designated labor or services for a short time.

How long may someone work with an H-2B classification?

The temporary labor certificate will show the initial authorized period of time for the H-2B classification which can be extended based on qualifying employment. Increments of extension are available for a maximum of 1 year at a time. A new, valid temporary labor certification is required with each extension request. A person can stay within the H-2B classification for a maximum of 3 years, and after that, the individual must depart the US for a period of 3 uninterrupted months before he or she can seek re-certification as an H-2B nonimmigrant.

Time previously spent in either the H or L classifications will count towards the individual’s total H-2B time. Some exceptions may not count as part of the 3-year limit, including time spent outside the United States.

H-4 nonimmigrant classification admission to the US is available to the spouse and unmarried children under 21 of the H-2B employee; however, these individuals are not eligible for employment under that status.

Only nationals from certain countries may participate in the H-2B visa program, and you can find the current list of eligible countries effective Jan. 18, 2017 at the USCIS.gov website.

To learn more about the H-2B visa program, contact the law offices of Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL. We can help you navigate the paperwork and procedures to facilitate your employment needs. Please contact us at (954) 344-7737 for answers to all of your immigration questions.

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