H2B Visa Requirements and Process

The H2B visa is a non-immigrant working visa which allows foreign nationals to enter United States for employment purpose in the non- agricultural working area . This non-agricultural field may be for seasonal need, intermittent, a peak load or for one-time occurrence. One-time occurrence means the job offer is only for a short term and not required in the future. Like the H1B visa, H2B visa requires the US employer to petition for the foreign employees. Seasonal need is when the US employer must prove that only at a particular time of the year that the labor is needed more. Peak load is when the company needs the employees for a temporary time and they will not be employed permanently. Intermittent means the employers are required only for a very short period to perform the services.

The US employer must also prove that there are no unemployed workers in the United States willing or able to do the required work. This must be proved by providing a document through the state’s employment agency using a labor certification process. This process will require a recruitment campaign which will include advertising in a local newspaper for available temporary workers for the required occupation.

List of documents needed for H2B visa

The duration of the H2B visa is limited to the need of the employer for temporary workers. The maximum validity period is for one year. In certain cases the employer may extend the duration of the visa up to three years but with specific conditions from the immigration department.

When applying for the H2B visa, the applicant and the US employer must submit the required documents such as,

  • Copy of the passport
  • Copy of the current visa
  • Address in the applicants home country
  • A letter from the US employer
  • must produce sufficient evidence to prove that the visit is only temporary and that he/she intends to return back after the business-related work is done
  • an evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad, and that he/she has residence outside the U.S. and has other binding ties that will ensure the individual leaves US at the end of the visit period.

All the petitions for this visa must be filed before six months of the proposed employment time. On entering the United States, the employee must ensure that he/she works only for the sponsored US employer and must leave the United States when the visa expires unless an extension is approved.

Spouse and children (unmarried child under 21 years of age ) of the H2B visa holders may accompany the employee and they will be allowed to enter United States with H4 visa. They may remain in the United States till the authorized stay of the H2B visa holder. But the dependents in H4 visas will not be allowed to work in the United States. Further, it is a must that the applicant obtains a prior appointment scheduled and also produce necessary documents (including passport) to the US Consulate at the time of Interview. Applicants will be notified in writing on the decision of the visa application.

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