H-2B Visa


The H2B 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 H2B status during each USCIS fiscal year (October through September). The process for obtaining H2B certification is similar to, but less extensive and time consuming, than permanent certification.

H2B Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

Foreign athletes, trainers or artists with a job offer from a U.S. employer

Skilled workers in crafts and trades who are able to perform tasks for which no U.S. workers are available

U.S. companies hiring foreign nationals to perform temporary work for which no U.S. workers are available

H2B Visa Benefits

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

H2B Visa Requirements
  1. Criteria For Determining Employer’s Eligibility
  2. The employer must satisfy the following conditions to import foreign workers under the H2B 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
  3. Criteria For Determining Employee’s Eligibility
  4. You are eligible for the H2B 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
H2B Visa Notes

The information provided here is applicable to New H2B Visa and H2B Extension. To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on an H2B visa, you must change your visa status.

Applying For H2B Visa

You cannot apply for an H2B visa as an individual. A U.S. employer must sponsor you for an H2B visa.

  1. Obtaining A Prevailing Wage Determination
  2. 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.

  3. Applying For Temporary Labor Certification
  4. Once the prevailing wage determination has been received the employer must complete the recruitment phase:

    • Place a 10 day job order with the 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 conjunction with an H2B filing.
    • Place an ad in a Newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. The 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. Contact all applicants
    • 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 add.
    • Prepare ETA-9142
    • 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 H2B 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.
  5. Filing The H2B Petition
  6. An H2B temporary worker visa petition is filed on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-129, along with the Form I-129H supplement and the approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Your H2B temporary worker visa petition must include:

    • A valid temporary non-agricultural labor certification.
    • Copies of evidence that each foreign worker named in the petition meets the minimum job requirements stated in the certification

    Note: The I-129 may include multiple beneficiaries and may include ‘unnamed’ beneficiaries.

  7. Applying For The H2B Visa At A U.S. Consulate
  8. To apply for the H2B visa, you must furnish the original or copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your H2B visa application must include the following documents:

    • DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
    • A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
    • A color photograph showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
    • Proof that you meet the minimum job requirements stated in the labor certification application Duration of Stay
    • An H2B visa is usually issued for a period of one year, and can be extended by two one-year extensions for a maximum of three years in H2B visa.
Spouse and Children

Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay can apply for an H4 visa.

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