H-2B Temporary Project Work Visa
The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to petition skilled or unskilled foreign nationals to work in the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. In order to qualify for this visa, a job offer for a position for which there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers, must first be established. The H-2B petitioners must then provide a single valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or, if the workers will be employed in Guam, from the Guam Department of Labor (Guam DOL). The qualified applicant must be able to show that he/she fully intends to return to his/her home country at the end of the approved stay. A numerical limit of 66,000 for H-2B workers is currently set by Congress for each fiscal year.
The H-2B visas are used for a wide variety of non-agricultural employment that are considered seasonal or intermittent, to meet a peak load need, or to participate in a one-time occurrence –
- Seasonal Need – when the service or labor for which it requires the services of a worker is traditionally tied to a season of the year or by an event or pattern and that it is recurring in nature.
- Intermittent Need – when the U.S. employer has not employed permanent or full-time workers to perform the work required, and that it occasionally or intermittently needs temporary workers to perform the job or services for short periods of time.
- Peak Load Need – when the U.S. employer regularly employs permanent workers to perform the job at the place of employment, but due to seasonal or short-term demands, it has the need to temporarily supplement its permanent workforce at the place of employment. The U.S. employer must further establish that the temporary additions to its workforce will not become part of the employer’s regular operation.
- One-Time Occurrence – when the U.S. employer establishes that a temporary event of short duration has created the need for a temporary worker, wherein it has not employed workers to perform said service or labor in the past and has no need for workers to perform these services or labor in the future.
Filing the Labor Certification
The initial step in filing an H-2B Petition is to apply for a temporary labor certification with the Department of Labor. The labor certification establishes that the job requirement for a foreign national to come and work in the U.S. is only on a temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, or working conditions of U.S. workers. The approved labor certification must be filed with the Form I-129 petition.
Dependents of H-2B Visa Holders
Spouses and minor children (unmarried under 21 years old) of H-1B visa holders are granted H-4 status, which does not authorize employment.
**Please call our office for immediate assistance on your visa requirements.