H2-B Visa Attorney Serving Saint Charles, Missouri
What is H2-B Visa?
Non-agricultural seasonal employees, both skilled and unskilled, are eligible to apply for an H2-B visa in the United States. You must first have a job offer for a position for which there is a scarcity of American employees willing or able to fill it. You must demonstrate that you will return home after your allotted stay.
Business trainers, performers, sports, camp counselors, ski instructors, and home attendants for terminally ill patients are among the workers who qualify for such visas.
A spouse and children (under 21) may accompany an H2-B visa holder to the United States. While in the United States, the dependents are permitted to attend school but are not allowed to work.
How Long Can You Stay on an H2-B Visa?
The H2-B visa is valid for a maximum of one year. The visa can be extended in one-year increments if the company can demonstrate that it needs you for a more extended time, and you can demonstrate that you still want to return to your native country when necessary.
However, such extensions might be challenging to come by. They’re not at all automated. With an H2-B visa, you can stay in the United States for three years.
What Are the Limits on How Many H2-B Visas Can Be Approved Each Year?
The H2-B numerical limit imposed by Congress is around 66,000 every fiscal year, with 33,000 allotted for work beginning in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 allocated for employment beginning in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).
Because this category receives a high volume of applications, a visa may not be available in the year you apply.
Who is Eligible for an H2-B Visa?
The employee must fulfill the following H2-B visa requirements to qualify for an H2-B visa:
- You must have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer to do seasonal or temporary work.
- You must have the correct background and abilities for the job.
- You must intend to return home before the expiration date on the visa.
What is the "Temporary" Requirement for the H2-B Visa?
H2-B visas are for non-agricultural employment that is transitory. The employer must demonstrate that insufficient U.S. workers are willing, able, and qualified to undertake the job. Foreign national employees will not affect U.S. workers’ salaries and working conditions.
According to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), the job must be “temporary.” This comprises:
A short-term incident necessitated the employment of a temporary worker. The company has not previously employed workers to execute the services or labor and will not require workers in the future.
Work that occurs regularly and is typically linked to a year’s season by an event or pattern. If the need for the service or labor is uncertain, prone to fluctuation, or considered a vacation period for permanent employees, seasonal need cannot be justified.
Peak Load Need
Seasonal or short-term demand necessitated the employment of H2-B visas to complement permanent workers. On the other hand, the employer certifies that the temporary workers will not be integrated into the Petitioner’s everyday activities.
The employer has not previously employed permanent or full-time employees to provide the same services or labor.
How May an Employer Qualify for the H2-B Program?
The employer must meet the following conditions:
- Present the foreign worker with a temporary or seasonal job offer
- Establish that there is only a temporary need for the type of services or labor to be performed by the foreign worker
- Establish that there is an absence of American workers who are qualified and available to complete the temporary labor
- Establish that the employment of H2-B workers will not unfavorably affect the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers
- The worker must have a foreign residence outside of the U.S. that they have no intention of leaving
- Submit a temporary labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) as well as the H2-B petition
What is the H2-B Visa Application Process?
Instead of employing you, your American employer must begin the process by advertising and recruiting for the position to attract American workers. If no suitable workers are identified, the company might seek a temporary labor certification from the local state workforce agency (SWA). The SWA will forward the matter to the U.S. Department of Labor for a final determination on the labor certification.
When the labor certification is accepted, your employer must file a visa petition on Form I-129 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you’re already lawfully in the United States, your company can request that your status be converted to H2-B worker at the same time.
Applicants already in the United States and have secured a change of status can begin working once USCIS accepts the I-129 petition.
If you’re not in the United States, you’ll need to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate in your native country. Your local consulate’s application and appointment processes may be found on their website. If you’re from Canada, you can use the documents listed below to go to the U.S. border.
What Are the Documents to Bring to Your Visa Appointment at the U.S. Consulate?
The following documents are likely to be requested by the U.S. consulate:
- A printout of the Form DS-160 that you filled out online.
- Notice from USCIS showing I-129 approval.
- Valid passport for you and each accompanying family member.
- One photo of each applicant, passport style.
- If your spouse and children join you, documents prove your family relationships, such as birth and marriage certificates.
- Documents proving your intention to leave the United States after your H2-B visa expires, such as copies of a house deed or an apartment lease, letters from an employer stating that your job would be waiting for you, and so on.
What Are the Primary Benefits of the H2-B Visa?
The following are some of the main advantages of the H2-B visa:
- Entering the U.S. for temporary work and enjoying all the employee benefits
- Bringing dependents with you to live in the U.S. during your stay
- Traveling freely outside of the U.S. on the visa
- Changing jobs if you can show that you have a new employment offer and that the new employer has accepted a fresh petition
What Limitations Are Specific to the H2-B Visa?
- The employer’s need for foreign temporary workers must not exceed 12 months
- The authorized time on the visa is counted no matter if the visa holder is in a foreign country or the U.S.
- Dependents of the visa holders may not work in the U.S.
- The burden is on the employer to meet all requirements
Can an H2-B Visa Holder Get a Green Card?
An H2-B visa permits foreign employees to travel to the United States for a limited time to work in a seasonal or temporary capacity. The most critical component of the H2-B visa is that it is only for temporary employment, one that must end after a defined length of time.
Although your H2-B visa permits you to work in the United States, neither it nor the employment that supports it will allow you to get permanent residency in the United States (commonly referred to as a “green card”).
With an H2-B visa, however, it is feasible to become eligible for and get a green card while in the United States.
How Can You Get a U.S. Green Card Through H2-B Visa?
Finding a U.S. business that would provide them a job and then sponsoring them for a green card is one of the most prevalent ways for foreign employees to receive one. The employer must finish the PERM labor certification process (referred to as “PERM”).
Employers can only sponsor foreign nationals through the PERM procedure if the proposed position is permanent, according to U.S. immigration law. In contrast to the H2-B visa employment, which must be transitory, the PERM job must be one that your company requires you to work for an extended amount of time.
As a result, many businesses that sponsor H2-B employees for a green card do so for a role that is not the same as the H2-B worker’s present employment. Your company agrees to sponsor you for a green card through the PERM procedure. Instead of financing you for a temporary ski instructor post, your business funds you for a permanent resort management position (which is permanent).
However, not every permanent employment qualifies you for a green card; you’ll have the best chance if you’re highly qualified. A family-based petition is another option for obtaining a green card in the United States.
How to Maintain an H2-B Status While Waiting for Permanent Residency?
If you hold an H2-B visa and wish to apply for a green card in the United States, you’ll need to carefully plan and correct timing of the procedure so that you may keep your H2-B status while your green card application is being processed.
An H2-B worker who is the beneficiary of a PERM application that has been accepted is not authorized to renew their H-2B status under immigration restrictions. If you try to prolong your H2-B status after your PERM application has been accepted, you may run into major problems.
Because of the complexities of H2-B status, it is strongly advised that you speak with our experienced H2-B visa attorney before filing a green card application.
How Can Our Skilled H2-B Visa Attorney Help?
Let Our Skilled Missouri H2-B Visa Attorney Assist You
Only an experienced H-2B visa attorney can offer legal advice and support your H-2B visa application. Gateway Immigration Law Firm has successfully handled thousands of immigration cases, assisting clients in obtaining work visas, green cards, and other benefits.
We offer the resources, expertise, and experience to get your visa application on the proper track, increasing your chances of success. Our experienced H2-B visa attorney pledges to keep you informed and educated throughout the process and immediately answer any issues or concerns you may have.
An initial consultation is the first step in your case. We’ll look over your immigration history during your initial visit to ensure you’re qualified for an H-2B visa. If an H-2B visa isn’t possible, we’ll look into your family’s background and immigration history to see if you have any other choices.
You’ll have the full support of an experienced H2-B visa attorney on your side. Contact us right now for assistance.