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H-2B Seasonal Worker Visa

While only a few H-2B Visas are issued each year, the visa is nonetheless useful. The H-2B visa enables U.S. businesses and agents to fill temporary needs for nonimmigrant workers. Many individuals unable to obtain an O or P Visa may apply for this visa. However, medical graduates are not allowed to apply for this visa. The visa is not self-petitioned, which means you will need an employer to sponsor you. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to join you in the U.S. under H-4 status. Dependents are not permitted to work, unless they personally qualify for a work visa.

The H-2B visa is available to employers of foreign non-professionals (unskilled workers) not working in the agricultural field. This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. For H-2B purposes, that means:

  • Recurring seasonal need
  • Intermittent need
  • Peak-load need
  • One time occurrence

The employer must also prove that there are no unemployed US workers willing or able to do the work. This is established through the state’s employment agency using a labor certification process. This process requires a recruitment campaign, including advertising in a local newspaper for available temporary workers.

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