Temporary, Seasonal And Other Workers (H-2 visas)

The H-2B visa is used for temporary or seasonal employment with a United States company for the duration of one year or less. H-2 visa status cannot be issued for more than one year, although extension of the visa may be requested.

It is possible to petition for a large number of employees to come to the United States to provide services to a specific employer so long as no U. S. workers are available to fill the positions. It is possible to petition for more than one employee on a petition through what is known as a blanket petition.

The initial step in the process is labor certification which is the most complex and most important part of the process. It is important to match job descriptions with specific definitions for the positions. It is important to know what experience and educational requirements there are for each position and to be sure that they do not conflict with guidelines established by the Department of Labor. It is necessary to demonstrate that each worker has the formal education and work experience required for the position. It is possible to obtain group labor certifications without naming specific individuals, but it is required that the individuals be named later in the process. One labor certification application can be submitted for several individuals, but a separate application must be filed for each job position that needs to be filled. For example, if petitioning for cooks and waiting staff for a catering crew, it would be necessary to submit an application for the cook, indicating how many individuals are needed to fill the positions, and a separate application for the waiting staff, indicating how many are needed.

It is also necessary to screen each worker for any past criminal violations or violations of U.S. immigration laws as this may render the individuals inadmissible into the U. S. Also, each worker must have a valid passport.

The process for obtaining entry into the United States will be in four steps. First, the labor certification application process. Second, an application for a visa is made to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") in the United States. Third, application for the visa based on the USCIS approval, which is done at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy where the alien resides. Finally, the workers will be checked by border crossing authorities at the port of entry. For purposes of organizing the applications, it is important to know where the employees will be applying for the visa, i.e., which U.S. consulate or embassy and where they will be entering the U.S.

Although labor certification applications can be submitted to cover all individuals for a particular position, regardless of who they are, where they reside or where they will be obtaining their visas, this is not the case when submitting the applications to the USCIS. A separate application (Form I-129) must be submitted for each position to be filled as well as for each consulate where the aliens will process for their visas. It is possible to petition for more than one individual on the application, but it is required that each individual for whom you are petitioning must be named on the application and that the appropriate documentation for each individual named must be submitted with the application. The documentation must demonstrate that the individuals possess the credentials and experience required on the labor certification application forms. These applications are submitted to the USCIS and upon approval, the aliens can then present themselves to the appropriate consulate to obtain their visa stamps to enter the U. S. Since the approval notices are for blanket petitions, it is possible for the aliens to use a copy of the approval notice to obtain their visa stamp in their passport.

To find out if you qualify for an H-2 visa, please contact our office at 317-639-1210 or contact us through this website.