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What is an H-2B Visa?
The H-2B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that enables companies in the United States to engage workers for temporary non-agricultural employment. This work might be a one-time job, a seasonal position, intermittent work, or peak-load employment.
The H2B visa for the United States is available to seasonal employees in industries other than agriculture who are either skilled or unskilled. Candidates who often qualify for this visa include those who work in the following professions: business trainers, entertainers, athletes, camp counsellors, ski instructors, and home caregivers for terminally ill patients.
You are required to have an offer of employment for a position for which there is a shortage of employees who are willing or able to fill the post in the United States. You have the ability to bring certain immediate family members into the United States if you have an H2B visa.
Employee Eligibility Requirements
Employees as from eligible countries are required to meet a few requirements, including the following:
- They are required to have a work offer from a company in the United States.
- They have to provide evidence that they intend to go back to their home country after their visa has expired.
- They have to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for an H-2B visa by demonstrating that they are qualified employees for the post that is being given to them.
Employer Eligibility Requirements
The procedure of obtaining an H-2B visa is started by the company. Companies in the United States, whether they are public or private, single proprietorships or corporations, are interested in hiring employees from other countries. However, employers need fulfil a few requirements, such as the following:
- Employers are required to provide evidence that they have searched for US workers, but there have not been enough
- By employing foreign workers, they would not adversely influence the pay and working conditions of US workers.
- That the foreign employees will occupy roles that are just temporary.
Employers participating in the H-2B program are required to do two specific actions before being granted authorization to employ foreign nationals on a temporary basis.
Get DOL Certification
If a business in the United States wants to recruit workers from another country, they are required to get certification from the Department of Labor. When applying for an H-2B visa, you will need to provide evidence of temporary employment. Employers are required to create and submit the following documents:
- Application for H-2B registration, Form ETA-9155 (must be submitted either more than 150 days or less than 120 days before the date on which the worker is required).
- Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, Form ETA-9141 (available through the Department of Labor).
- Application for Temporary Employment Certification, Form ETA-9142 (must be submitted at least 75 days before a worker is required and no more than 90 days before the worker is needed).
In addition to filling out these documents, companies are required to provide evidence that the worker is needed in a temporary capacity. There are four categories of temporary jobs that are eligible for this program: seasonal work, intermittent work, peak load, and one time
Job Position Eligibility Criteria
Through the H2B Visa Program, you will have the opportunity to work in a wide range of occupations inside the United States. To be considered a temporary employment position, the job in question must meet one of the following criteria:
- Seasonal employment: positions that are in demand at a certain time of year. These are the kinds of assignments that come up again and again, often on a yearly basis. However, the length of the employment cannot be changed, and it cannot take place during the vacation time of permanent employees in the United States.
- Intermittent work: positions in which there is a shortage of full-time employees. As a result, the business needs people who can contribute on a temporary and part-time basis.
- Peak load: employment openings that occur during very busy periods when a business needs extra staff members.
- One-time requirements: these are the kinds of work that are only needed for a limited time and just on an occasional basis.
Employers are also required to demonstrate that they searched the United States for workers who had the necessary qualifications and could, would, or were available to do the work. They are required to go through a recruiting procedure in order to demonstrate this. Putting up advertisements for open positions in various publications is part of the process of hiring new employees. The wanted advertisements have to be published in the newspaper for a total of three days in a row. In addition, the offer must be made available to employees in the United States up to twenty-one days before the business requires the employee’s services.
In order for the company to be eligible for the certification, they will need to provide the Department of Labor the evidence that proves the efforts they have put into hiring new employees. If the Department of Labor gives its blessing to the Temporary Labor Certification, the document will remain in effect for a period of three years. After that, the employer will be able to go on to the subsequent phases.
The petition must be sent to USCIS
The next thing that has to be done is to submit the petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must be submitted by filling out Form I-129 at least 45 days and no more than six months before there is a need for the personnel. Each employee is required to file their own petition, and existing petitions cannot be moved to cover additional workers.
In the event that the petition is granted, the USCIS will provide the employer with Form I-797. On Form I-797 are the dates that indicate when a company may engage a certain employee and when that employee’s job must come to a conclusion. Employers are obligated to observe the working dates; failing to do so may result in the denial of subsequent petitions.
Eligible Countriesa list
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- The Netherlands
- Papua New Guinea
- The Philippines
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- El Salvador
Talk to the seasoned lawyers at IAS if you are from Taiwan or a nation that is not on this list. You will be required to furnish supplementary materials for the H-2B visa.
The nations that are included on this list are chosen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) based on a variety of criteria, including the country’s willingness and procedure for granting travel papers, as well as the number of removals that have been made against people of that country.
Nigeria is not included on the eligible country list at this time. However, the secretary of Homeland Security may take into consideration include it upon recommendation.
Required Documents for the H-2B Visa
You will need to travel to the United States Embassy in your country in order to complete the process of obtaining an H-2B visa. While there, you will need to provide the necessary paperwork and documentation. Bring the following paperwork to the U.S. embassy in your country:
- Your Notification of Acceptance for an H-2B Visa
- Your potential employer in the United States has given a job offer to you.
- Nigerian Passport
- Two Passport-size photographs
- Form DS-160. Because this is an online form, please include both the printed version of the form and the receipt.
- Application for non-immigrant visas, often known as Form DS-156
- Filing fees
- A work contract or apartment lease for after your H-2B visa has expired; this is required. Your temporary non-immigrant visa requires this as confirmation that you will not overstay your allotted time in the country.
If you are submitting an application together with your dependents, then each of them will also provide the documentation listed below:
- Valid international passport
- Photographs in the format of a passport
- Certificates of birth for children under the age of 21 who are not married
- Certificate of marriage for the partner
Only the original copies of this document should be taken into consideration. You will be required to submit official translations into English for any of your papers that are not written in English.
H-2B Visa Cap Explained
The amount of visas that may be issued to people who are not citizens of the United States is subject to a quota system that is known as a cap. The amount of visas that may be granted to individuals who are not citizens of the United States is subject to a limit. The limit is per calendar year, with each cycle consisting of two halves.
There is a cap of 33,000 H-2B visas for each cycle that may be issued throughout the course of each fiscal year. Because there are two cycles in each fiscal year, the total number of visas that the USCIS may grant is limited to 66,000.
The cycles are determined by the time of day when people in the United States start their employment.
- The beginning of the first cycle occurs on October 1 and ends on March 31.
- The second cycle, which includes the second half of the year, begins on April 1 and ends on September 30.
If you submit an application for the first half of your work type and are not selected to get an H-2B visa, an application on the second half of your employment type will become accessible. Nevertheless, this only applies to the first or second cycle that occurs each year. During the fiscal years, the applications will not be processed. You are required to submit a new application during the first application cycle of the fiscal year. Pay close attention to the date that represents the cycle’s last receipt. The day when USCIS has achieved its maximum capacity is considered the final reception date.
How Can IAS Help?
The H2B visa is only available to temporary employees who are interested in being employed by a company in the United States that employs migrant workers.
Nigeria is currently not on the list, but it might be added in the future upon request. There might be a chance to apply H2B Visa but currently Nigerians can apply for J1 Visa, J2 Visa, or O3 Visa.
Because of this, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a lawyer. To facilitate your entry into the United States for a temporary work assignment, the immigration lawyers here at IAS are prepared to provide you with the finest immigration counsel they have to offer.
IAS consultants are prepared to assist you in resolving any problem you may be experiencing in relation to the acquisition of an H-2B visa. Call us on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or you can contact us online.
Last modified on October 26th, 2023 at 11:43 am
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H-2A visas are intended particularly for agricultural employees, whilst H-2B visas are intended for non-agricultural workers. This is the main distinction between H-2A and H-2B visas. The fiscal ceiling on H-2B visa petitions, which is issued twice annually and totals 66,000, is another notable distinction. There is no limit on the number of applicants for the H-2A visa.
Anyone in the US with an H-2B visa may apply for a status change. If they locate a new H-2B employer, the new company will need to petition USCIS for certification before they may recruit the foreign worker.
Additionally, if an H-2B visa holder finds employment that necessitates a different kind of visa, they are permitted to have their new employer file a petition to modify their status. The new employer must pursue the H-2A visa process if the H-2B visa holder, for instance, obtains temporary agricultural work that calls for an H-2A visa.
The H-2B visa does not permit stays of more than one year in the US since it is only temporary.