H-2B Visa – Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
What is an H-2B visa?
The H-2B program permits United States employers or U.S. agents to bring non-immigrant workers to the U.S. to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. The worker must be a citizen from an authorized list of countries as determined by the Department of Homeland Security, which includes El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico. A temporary labor certification must be submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL) before seeking H-2B classification with USCIS.
Temporary nonagricultural jobs include:
- One Time Occurrence
- Seasonal Need
- Peak Load
The H-2B Cap
The H-2B program holds two lotteries per fiscal year. One in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 -March 31) and the other in the second half (April 1-Sep 30). 33,000 visas can be issued in each lottery for a total of 66,000.
Upon receiving a formal offer from a U.S. employer, the employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, on the employee’s behalf. Once Form I-129 has been approved, the prospective worker outside the U.S. must apply for an H-2B visa with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They may also enter the U.S. on an H-2B classification at CBP at a U.S. port of entry if an H-2B visa is not required.
Can my family accompany me?
You may bring your spouse and unmarried children under 21 to live with you in the U.S. on an H-4 visa. Family members are not allowed to work while in H-4 status.