H-2B Visas

  • The H-2B visa is available to employers of foreign workers not working in the agricultural field.
  • This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature.

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Examples of Temporary Employment:

  • Recurring seasonal need
  • Intermittent need
  • Peak-load need
  • One time occurrence 

The employer must prove there are no unemployed U.S. workers willing or able to do the work. This is established through the Dept. of Labor of each state using a recruitment campaign to attract available temporary workers.

The duration of the visa is limited to the employer's need for the temporary workers. The maximum authorized period is one season, up to 9 months. However, the employer may extend the duration of the visa up 3 years. These requests for extensions must be approved by both the U.S. Department of Labor and USCIS.

If the prospective workers are outside of the US, they must apply for a visa with the U.S. consulate in their home country abroad. If the prospective workers are already in the US and are extending their stay, a new visa is not required. However, if the workers leave the US and want to re-enter, they may need a visa.

Petitions should be filed at least 45 days before the employment but no more than 3 months prior to the proposed employment.

Spouses or unmarried children (under 21) of H-2B visa holders are issued H-4 visas. H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work in the U.S..

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