U.S. Visas: H-2B
An H-2B visa is issued to persons coming to the U.S. to engage in non-agricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, to meet a peak load need, or for a one-time occurrence where U.S. workers are unavailable.
In order to apply for an H-2B, the US employer must first demonstrate that the need for the labor or service is temporary. The H-2B must be for a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need, or an intermittent need.
- One-Time Occurrence: “The employer must establish that it has not employed workers to perform the services or labor in the past and that it will not need workers to perform the services or labor in the future, or that it has an employment situation that is otherwise permanent, but a temporary event of short duration has created the need for a temporary worker.”
- Seasonal Need: “The employer must establish that the services or labor is traditionally tied to a season of the year by an event or pattern and is of a recurring nature. The employer can specify the period of time during each year in that it does not need the services or labor. The employment is not seasonal if the period during which the services or labor is not needed is unpredictable or subject to change or is considered a vacation period for the employer’s permanent employees.”
- Peak Load Need: “The employer must establish that it regularly employs permanent workers to perform the services or labor at the place of employment and that it needs to supplement its permanent staff at the place of employment on a temporary basis due to a seasonal or short-term demand and that the temporary additions to staff will not become a part of the petitioner’s regular operation.”
- Intermittent Need: “The employer must establish that it has not employed permanent or full-time workers to perform the services or labor, but occasionally or intermittently needs temporary workers to perform services or labor for short periods.”
The employer must also demonstrate that he/she has been unsuccessful in finding capable U.S. workers to perform the temporary service. This is demonstrated by obtaining a Temporary Labor Certification (application ETA 750A) from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is the first step in the H-2B application process. Once this has been received, the employer will use the approved labor certification to apply for an H-2B visa, on behalf of an individual, with the USCIS.
There is an annual H-2B cap/limit of 66,000 visas. This number is divided into 2 halves of the fiscal year, so each fiscal year has a cap of 33,000. VISANOW can assist the employer both in obtaining the approved labor certification and also in filing the H-2B application with the USCIS.
The H-2B visa will be issued for no longer than one year.