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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
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H-2B Work Visa Questions

What is an H-2B visa?

The H-2B visa allows the holder to work for a sponsoring employer to fill a seasonal position with the exception of agriculture. The positions that are most generally used for this is; landscaping, seasonal hospitality, seasonal construction, manufacturing needs, food packaging and processing, fisheries, and retail or other industries. The visa holders are sent home at the end of the season and there are around 66,000 H-2B visas per year that this program is capped at. This number has not been changed since it was out into service in 1990 and the cap has been hit every year since 2004. Read below to find many questions that have been answered by the Experts.

If a U.K. citizen is in the U.S. on a H-B2 work visa and it is to expire soon but the person wants to travel the U.S., would he/she need to go back to the U.K. or can he/she go to Canada and then back into the U.S. under a tourist visa?

The person would need to leave the U.S. when their I-94 expires. If the person leaves the U.S. then comes back on a Visa Waiver or B-2 tourist visa, the individual would need to explain why they is coming back into the U.S. so soon, what the individual’s intentions in the U.S are, how long the individual will plan on staying, what type of preparations the individual has made to get back home, what type of ties the individual has back home, and how the individual plans to support themselves since they cannot work. There is never a guarantee that they will let a person in, but if the person satisfies those basic questions, he/she should have no issues.

If a person has a H-B2 visa and is waiting for their third extension to be approved, can this individual leave the country then come back with the approval paperwork?

The extensions only allow the person to be in the U.S., so if the individual leaves the country, the individual would need to get a new stamp on their visa from the country they reside in for them to be able to return to work and the U.S.

If an H-B2 visa holder’s stamp on his/her visa is expired, but they have the extension approval papers and are going to visit Canada, what paperwork would they need to return to the U.S.?

The person would need to take all the original copies of their H-B2 extensions since they have been in the U.S. They would also need the original approval letter that the individual got when they got their visa. It would also do the person well if they had a letter of guarantee from their employer. When the person enters Canada, the individual would need to be sure that they keep their copy of the I-94 form, since they would need that form to return to the U.S.

Is it possible for a person to upgrade from an H-B2 to an H-B1 visa?

The status upgrade is very possible as long as the person meets the degree upgrade requirement and the individual files before the cap runs out. If the person is filing when the cap is met, then they would have to wait till the following year to use their upgraded visa. If the person’s work is for a non-profit educational group, then the individual would not have to worry about the cap.

Working in the U.S. under an H-B2 visa brings benefits as well as questions for both the visa holder and employer. When faced with these questions, the employer or visa holder would need to seek the answers and insight of an Expert to answer these questions.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34498
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
characters left:
3 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent H 2B Questions

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