There are temporary, seasonal positions in the United States that are sometimes made available for qualified citizens of foreign countries. For example, employers can seek H-2B seasonal workers from other countries if they are looking for construction workers on a single project, dining staff during the holidays or manufacturers after receiving unprecedented demands. The employer will have to prove that the potential foreign workers are qualified and will have to apply for and receive a temporary work visa.
To learn more about the H-2B seasonal worker visa and for guidance throughout the application process, please call Texas immigration legal team of Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445. We have years of experience helping employers obtain H-2B visas for their employees.
Benefits of this Visa
On an H-2B visa, you can enter the United States for temporary work and enjoy employee benefits. You may also bring dependents, such as a spouse or children under the age of 21 to join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay. You can also freely travel outside the country on this visa and you can switch jobs if you can show a new job offer and have a new petition approved on your behalf.
How to Qualify
Anyone who wants to travel to the United States for temporary, seasonal work will have to establish that:
- There are not enough qualified workers in the United States who are willing and available to do the temporary work.
- The employment of H-2B workers will not have a negative affect on the working conditions and wages of the local workers.
- The need for workers is temporary. The petitioner will have to show that temporary workers were not needed in the past and will not be needed in the future or that a temporary event has created the need for a H-2B worker.
- There is a “peakload” or intermittent need. A peakload need means that the employer requires temporary workers to supplement the permanent staff for a short-term demand. An intermittent need is when there are no permanent or full-time workers, but temporary workers are needed for a short period of time.
A Limited Number of Visas
Many workers from around the world would like to work in the United States, but there are a limited number of visas available. There is a statutory numerical limit, known as a cap, on the number of immigrants who can receive H-2B visas during any given fiscal year. The number of available seasonal visas is currently capped at 66,000. Typically, this lowers down to 33,000 visas given out between October 1 and March 31 and all remaining unused visas being given out between April 1 and September 30. There is no carry-over from one fiscal year to the next.
How to Get a H-2B Visa
The process of getting a seasonal work visa is often complicated and lengthy. First, you will have to submit a temporary labor certification application to the Department of Labor. Your potential employer will have to apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H-2B workers. Next, you will have to submit a non-immigrant worker petition known as Form I-129.
You will then have to apply for an H-2B visa with the U.S. Department of State at an Embassy or Consulate. Not every country is eligible to participate in the H-2B program and not every viable worker will be accepted. Legal guidance is recommended for anyone seeking information regarding temporary work in the United States. Do not hesitate to contact Peek & Toland to discuss your potential options and the best course of action for your circumstances. We will guide you from start to finish in the application process.