The H-2 visa program, also known as the seasonal nonagricultural worker visa, is intended for foreign nationals who will be employed in the United States as farm workers. H-2B visas are meant for an even smaller group of workers who will come to the United States and work temporarily at a single employer’s place of business.
Both of these require you to have a specific set of unusual or special circumstances to be eligible. These are not easy requirements to meet, but if you do, you may qualify for this temporary work visa.
Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to get your H-2B visa request approved, as well as some things you should know before applying.
What Is the H-2B Visa?
The H-2 visa program is a U.S. work visa meant for short-term employment in particular industries. H-2B visas only apply to industries that require short-term work (for example, seasonal work like farming or construction).
If you are able to apply for an H-2B visa three days before you arrive in the U.S. and you are granted a visa, you will be allowed to enter and work in the U.S.
However, your employer will have to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), which can take a few weeks. If your application is approved and the LCA is filed, you will be allowed to work immediately, but you will need to register with the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as a nonimmigrant worker.
Who Is Eligible for an H-2B Visa?
If you are eligible for an H-2B visa, you must be coming to the U.S. to work for a specific employer, and you must have experience in a specific field. You must also meet several other requirements, such as a valid travel document and a criminal record check.
To be eligible for an H-2B visa, you must also meet both U.S. and foreign criteria. The U.S. criteria for an H-2B visa are that you must be coming to the U.S. to work for a single employer, not to get there and start looking for a job. The foreign criteria state that you must be coming to the U.S. for the specific purpose of working and not be a threat to public safety.
What is Required to Apply for an H-2B Visa?
There are a few requirements you must meet to apply for an H-2B visa. You must be able to prove that you have experience in the specific field for which you are applying for an H-2B visa. You must also have a valid travel document and a criminal record check.
The Process of Applying for an H-2B Visa
There are several steps to the process of applying for a H-2B visa. Your first step is to find an immigration attorney to help you with your application. Your attorney will assist you with the application and will help you answer any questions you may have about the process.
Next, you must file an H-2B application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this online at the USCIS website.
However, you must submit your application at least three days before you arrive in the U.S. to have any chance at being granted an H-2B visa.
The H-2B visa program is intended for foreign nationals who will be employed in the U.S. and work temporarily at a single employer’s place of business.
However, both require you to have a specific set of unusual or special circumstances to be eligible, as highlighted above. They may not be easy requirements to meet, but if you do, you may qualify for this temporary work visa.
With the help of an immigration attorney, you may be able to obtain an H-2B visa.