The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come
to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural work, which may be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent.
There is a 66,000 per year limit on the number of foreign workers who may receive H-2B status during each USCIS fiscal year (October through September). The process for obtaining H-2B certification is similar to, but less extensive and time consuming, than permanent certification.
Benefits of H-2B Visa
You can enter the U.S. for a temporary work and enjoy all employee benefits
You can bring your dependents to stay with you in the U.S.
You can freely travel outside U.S. on this visa
You can change jobs if you can show a new job offer and have a new petition approved on your behalf
Requirements for the H-2B Visa
Criteria for Determining Employer's Eligibility
The employer must satisfy the following conditions to import foreign workers under the H-2B visa:
The job and the employer's need must be one time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent
The job must be for less than one year
There must be no qualified and willing U.S. workers available for the job
Criteria for Determining Employee's Eligibility
You are eligible for the H-2B Visa provided:
You have a valid job offer from a US employer to perform temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work
You intend to return to your home country on expiration of the visa
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Applying for H-2B Visa
You cannot apply for an H-2B visa as an individual. A U.S. employer must sponsor you for an H-2B visa.
Obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination
The U.S. employer must submit Form ETA-9141
through the iCERT
portal to obtain a prevailing wage for use with a temporary labor certification application.
Applying for Temporary Labor Certification
Once the prevailing wage determination has been received the employer must complete the recruitment phase:
Place a 10 day job order with State Workforce Agency (SWA) in the area of intended employment, The job order can start no more than 120 days before the need. The SWA must be notified that the job order is in conjuction with an H-2B filing.
Place an ad in a Newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. Tha ad must be for a minimum of 2 day, one of which is a sunday, and must run during the period of the SWA job order.
Prepare a Recruitment Report. The Recruitment Report cannot be completed earlier than 2 days after the end of the SWA job order or 5 days after the last newspaper ad.
Submit ETA-9142 and Recruitment Report to DOL National Processing Center in Chicago
Prepare Audit File retaining copies of all documentation Supporting the ETA-9142
The H-2B certification is valid for up to 364 days. As temporary or seasonal non-agricultural employment, the work is performed at certain seasons of the year or for a limited time period of less than one year when the employer can show that the need for the foreign worker is truly temporary.