H-2B Temporary or Seasonal Workers

This category addresses the need of US employers for temporary or seasonal labor in two situations: Agricultural need (H-2a) and Non-agricultural (H-2b).  It is important to note that both the need for the services and the services themselves must be temporary in nature.  For example, an employment agency would not qualify as an H-2B petitioner because they are considered to have permanent (that is, ongoing) need for temporary services themselves even though the needs of their individual clients may be temporary.  If it is determined that the employer has an ongoing or continuing need for the H-2 services, then the petition will be denied. The employer’s need for the services or labor must be a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need or an intermittent need.  A job is temporary when the employer’s need to fill the job will last no longer than one year. A job is seasonal when it is tied to a certain time of the year by an event or pattern, such as a resort in a beach community.  This is not a category for a foreigner to be placed temporarily in a permanent US job.  There are only 66,000 H-2b Visas available annually but there is no limit for H-2A workers.
The period of employment must be specified so as to match the employer’s need.  However, it cannot exceed one year.  Family members of the H-2 principals may be admitted to the US as H-4 classification, but they may not be employed in the US.  The employer may file one application with the Immigration Service for multiple openings if the foreigners will be doing the same job.  Different jobs require separate applications.  Employers cannot submit the application any more than 120 days in advance of the need.
The petitioner must show that the foreign worker will not displace a US worker or affect working conditions of similarly employed US workers.  If the employer terminates the H-2B worker prior to the end of the period of authorized stay, then the employer is responsible for paying the reasonable costs of return transportation to the alien’s last place of foreign residence. For H-2A employees, the petitioner must also arrange for housing for the workers.
Once the request for a temporary Visa has been approved, the foreigner applies at the Consulate.  The temporary worker will be interviewed and must satisfy the consular officers that they intend to depart the US after the approved temporary period and that they will maintain their residences and other ties abroad during that period.

Visa requirements are highly complex, and many other rules apply. Let GoffWilson provide the timely advice and thorough expertise you need. Contact us Now.