Workers who are seeking vocational training or semi-skilled workers who are seeking to fill non-agricultural work positions may be eligible for H-2B visas as essential workers. Landscapers and construction workers are some examples of those who are well-suited to apply for a H-2B visa. However, H-2B visas can only been obtained by citizens of the specific countries Secretary of Homeland Security has approved. There are many restrictions and regulations in place regarding the obtainment of a H-2B visa.
The H-2B is temporary worker visa. The worker seeking a H-2B visa does not need a bachelor’s degree. Nonetheless, H-2 petitions will only be granted and approved if no US workers are available to fulfill the work that needs to be completed. H-2B holders are often called “essential workers”.
To qualify for H-2B nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner must establish that:
- There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
- Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- Its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary.
Those who file for a H-2B visa must only have intent to stay temporarily not permanently. In order to prove this, they must have established a residence in a foreign country outside of the United States which they plan on keeping. If the H-2B visa applicant has already taken steps towards achieving a permanent residence card in the United States, he/she may be denied.
There is a statutory numerical limit, or “cap,” on the total number of foreign nationals who may be issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fiscal year. Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year. In recent years when the cap was exceeded, H-2B visas became unavailable.
The H-2B is a temporary, time-sensitive work visa. Applying for a H-2B visa can be a grueling and complicated process, so you’ll want to make sure that you have an experienced and knowledgeable H-2B immigration lawyer who will help you through the entire application process.