H-2B Visa Lawyers
Visas for Temporary Workers (non-agricultural)
What is the H-2B program?
The H-2B program can be used by employers that demonstrate temporary, seasonal, or peak-load shortage of staff and need of additional workers- this is often the case for our clients in the construction, trucking, hospitality, landscaping and restaurant industries that have peak seasons.
There are 66,000 H-2B visas available for employers to use- some years, such as in 2023, the government has added a nearly 65,000 additional visas given the dire need by employers.
How long does it take to bring workers?
The H-2B program process typically takes 5 to 8 months to complete. Through this visa type, workers can come to the U.S. and work for up to 9 months in a one-year period with the initial approval. Thereafter, the employee must leave for a period of three months and can come on an H-2B visa again for another 9 months. There are situations where temporary periods may be greater than 9 months; these situations are usually considered as “one-time need” and can last up to 3 years.
What are the employer’s obligations?
Employers of the H-2B workers are obligated to pay for the visa application, transportation and accommodation of the workers, as well as to pay them the wage determined by the Department of Labor to protect them from exploitation. Typically, these costs are well worth it for our clients that are losing 100’s of thousands or even millions of dollars and need workers now.
What family members can come with the employee?
The employee’s family (spouse and children under 21) can accompany the employee under the dependent H-4 visa. The children may attend school. However, no H4 dependent of an H-2B employee may be employed in the U.S.
What are the steps involved in an H-2B filing?
- File a Prevailing Wage Request;
- File job order with State Wage Agency
- File Application for Temporary Employment Certification with the Department of Labor at 90 day mark (soon after to avoid cap being reached)
- Begin local recruitment within 14 days once DOL sends a Notice of Acceptance
- File Recruitment Report with DOL
- Once DOL certifies application, File Employer Petition with USCIS
- USCIS Approves Petition
- Employee submits a visa application, and then enters the U.S. once a visa is issued in their passport
H-2B visa filings are very time sensitive and complex. Our firm routinely handles H2b filings from beginning to end for large, midsize and small operations.
If you have any questions specific to your case, or need more information, call our office to schedule a phone consultation with a Senior Attorney at Jeelani Law Firm.