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H-2B Work Visa Related Questions

What is an H-2B work visa? Can an H-2B visa be used to get an Indian to work on contract for a year? Those looking to apply for an H-2B work visa are required to fulfil various pre-requisities and also have an employer willing to sponsor them. However, it can be difficult and confusing to apply and complete the formalities of this visa on your own. This is where Immigration Law Experts can step in and provide assistance and opinions on the way forward. To get more insight about H-2B work visas, below are a few questions answered by verified Experts.

What is an H-2B work visa?

The H-2B visa allows foreign nationals to enter the United States to perform or execute temporary non-agricultural jobs. This visa is employer sponsored and hence requires the U.S. employers or U.S. agents to meet specific regulatory requirements in order to have this visa granted. The major reasons for which H-2B visas are required for temporary manpower are as follows:

  1. one-time occurrence
  2. seasonal need
  3. peak-load need
  4. intermittent need

A U.S. employer would need to file form I-129 - petition for non-immigrant worker on behalf of the prospective employee. 

What can be done if an individual’s J1 visa is expiring and the company is willing to extend employment but not offering H-1B visa?

In such a scenario, one of the only options available is H-2B, non-immigrant, Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker status. What this requires is a temporary need as well as labor certification through the Department of Labor stating that there are no willing or able U.S. citizens who can fulfill this position. This procedure is laborious with many steps. It would be a good idea to take assistance of a recruitment attorney as this is part of the labor certification process. They would be helpful in creating job postings which have few qualified and able applicants.

What is the process to apply for an H-2B visa for a chef (exchange student) to work temporarily in the U.S.?

Since this involves bringing the person for temporary employment, H-2B visa is a good option. The process is as follows:

  1. Obtain the labor certificate to prove that there is no other U.S. worker qualified to fulfill the position temporarily.
  2. The next step based on an approved labor certificate is to file the I-129. Once this I-129 petition is approved by the USCIS, the visa applicant can apply for a non-immigrant visa application.
  3. On approval of the visa application, he can travel to the U.S. and work with the employer for the duration of the approved petition.

What is the provision for multiple countries while submitting the I-129 as a petitioner for a H2B visa? 

In an H-2B visa application, there is a provision to list the countries from which one wishes to hire workers. Based on the beneficiaries needed by the petitioner, listing multiple countries implies that you can hire workers from the listed countries. However, one should ensure the countries listed are eligible for H-2B based on the latest H-2B countries list. In case the country you wish to hire from is not part of the list, there may be a need to file a separate petition for that individual. 

Is it possible to use H-2B visa to get someone from India to work on contract for six months to a year?

It may be possible to use the H-2B visa as an option for some time or for intermittent work. However, this is limited to people from certain countries only, India not being one of them. Moreover, the applicant needs to get paid for their employment without which their labor certification will not come through.

Is it possible to earn some money while on a J1 education visa?

You will not be able involve yourself in employment as this would be taking away opportunities from U.S. workers or students. They cannot create competition in the U.S. market place as that prevents U.S. workers or students from getting the same opportunities. What can be done instead is that the current company would have to have their own J1 program and apply for the applicant or offer them a job and apply for an H-1B or H-2B if you have qualified.

Would an H-2B visa be suitable for a Canadian citizen to conduct a seminar in the U.S. and get paid for their services?

Yes, an H-2B visa would be suitable for this purpose; however, it can be expensive and difficult to obtain because the employer would need to go through an elaborate procedure of applying for ‘Labor Certification.’ This entails advertising in the local media, interviewing eligible candidates and eliminating all candidates for valid reasons, assuring that the Canadian citizen is the suitable candidate for the role. This process is carried out to prove that there are no other eligible candidates and a job is not being unfairly taken away from a U.S. citizen. Therefore, another simple and less cumbersome option for a Canadian would be to opt for a TN applied at the port of entry.

What are the violations of H-2B visa?

Pursuant to the Labor Condition Application (LCA), the company owes the applicant the wages on the LCA from the time they entered the country to the present. The company cannot bench the individual. A complaint can be filed with the Administrator, office of Foreign Labor Certification, Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor, Washington DC.

H-2B visas provide a good opportunity to work in the U.S. and gain insight on the work culture and standard of living. You are also allowed to change your status or renew after you complete the time period. Seeking the insights of verified Immigration Law Experts online with regard to your visa queries and doubts may be useful and worthwhile. They can provide customized answers from the comfort of your home, quickly and economically.

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