H-2B Visa Program – Temporary Work Visas for Seasonal Workers

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The H-2B Visa Program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. The program allows foreign nationals to work for a sponsoring employer to fill seasonal positions, on one-time projects, during times of exceptionally high workload, or intermittently.

The H-2B Visa Program is designed to benefit various American industries including, landscaping, seasonal hospitality, seasonal construction, to meet specific needs in manufacturing, food packaging and processing, retail and other industries. The program helps employers who need temporary services or labor bring foreign workers to the U.S. when there is a lack of availability of domestic workers to provide the temporary services or labor.

To qualify for H-2B nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner (employer) must establish that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to provide the temporary services or labor; that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and the working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; that the petitioner’s need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary; and must submit a single valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) along with the H-2B petition. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, during times of exceptionally high workload, or an intermittent need.

Before requesting H-2B classification from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the petitioner must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification application to the DOL. After receiving a temporary labor certification from the DOL, the petitioner must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS on the prospective employee’s behalf.

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