H-2B Visa

U.S. employers may petition for skilled or unskilled foreign workers to meet temporary or seasonal needs in positions for which qualified U.S. workers are not available. It is important to note that both the services for which the employer requests H-2 labor approval and the employer’s need for such services must be temporary. There is currently an annual limitation of 66,000 visas for H-2B workers.


Do I qualify?

You must have been contacted and have already been offered a job by an employer in the US. Your employer files a petition on your behalf.

For Employers:

Before hiring an H-2 worker from outside the U.S., the employer must first apply for a temporary labor certification with the Department of Labor. These certificates are designed to assure that the admission of aliens to work in this country on a temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, or working conditions of U.S. workers. The employer is required to file the labor certification with the I-129 petition. For specific procedures on filing, please visit the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Including more than one alien in a petition:
An employer may file one petition for multiple workers if:
•  they will perform the same services
•  they will work in the same location
•  they are included on the same labor certification and,
•  they come from places that are served by the same U.S. consulate, or, if visa exempt, they will enter at the same port of entry.


Can I bring my family?

Yes. You may bring your family with you. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to H-4 status with the same restrictions as the your H-2 Visa. Dependents may not be employed under the H-4 classification.


What are the key documents required for the H-2B visa?

You must have all of your travel and professional documents with you.

For Employers:

Prior to filing a petition the U.S. employer must first apply for a labor certification from the Department of Labor to demonstrate that U.S. workers are not available and that wages and working conditions meet regional standards. The U.S. employer should file the petition with:
1. Either an original single valid temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor (or the Governor of Guam if the proposed employment is solely in Guam). The certificate should indicate that qualified U.S. workers are not available and that employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; or
2. An original notice from such authority that such certification cannot be made, along with evidence of the unavailability of U.S. workers and of the prevailing wage rate for the occupation in the U.S, and evidence overcoming each reason why the certification was not granted; and
3. Copies of evidence, such as employment letters and training certificates, that shows each named foreigner meets the minimum job requirements stated in the certification.