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H-2B Visa

Are you a foreign national with experience in any of the following jobs?

Wait Staff

Host Staff

Housekeeper

Ski Instructor

Kitchen Staff

Cashier

Food & Beverage Server

Concierge

Sales Assistance

Ski Lift Operator

Dining Room Attendant

Lifeguard

Dishwasher

Line & Prep Cook

Bus Staff

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 COUNTRYS 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:

 

Andorra

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Barbados

Belgium

Belize

Brazil

Brunei

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

El Salvador

Estonia

Ethiopia

Fiji

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Grenada

Guatemala

Haiti

Honduras

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Kiribati

Latvia

Lichtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malta

Mexico

Monaco

Montenegro

Nauru

The Netherlands

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Norway

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Peru

The Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Samoa

San Marino

Serbia

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Tonga

Turkey

Tuvalu

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Uruguay

Vanuatu

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:

  1. The employer submits a Temporary Labor Certification application to the Department of Labor (DOL);
  2. After receiving a temporary labor certification, the employer must submit a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) form requesting H-2B workers;
  3. 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 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.

CONCLUSION

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.

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