H-2B Visa

The H-2B visa non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. A U.S. employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on a prospective worker’s behalf.

To qualify for H-2B nonimmigrant classification:

  • The employer must establish that its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as permanent or temporary. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need, or an intermittent need
  • The employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work
  • The employer must show that the employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
  • Generally, a single, valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or, in the case where the workers will be employed on Guam, from the Governor of Guam, must be submitted with the H-2B petition. (Exception: an employer is not required to submit a temporary labor certification with its petition if it is requesting H-2B visa employment in a position for which the DOL does not require the filing of a temporary labor certification application)

H-2B visa Cap

There is a statutory numerical limit, or “cap,” on the total number aliens who may be provided H-2B visa nonimmigrant classification during a fiscal year. Once the H-2B visa cap is reached, USCIS may only accept petitions for H-2B visa workers who are exempt from the H-2B cap.

Period of Stay under H-2B visa

Generally, USCIS may grant H-2B visa classification for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification (usually authorized for no longer than one (1) year).  H-2B visa classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to one (1) year. The maximum period of stay in H-2B visa classification is three (3) years.

An individual who has held H-2B visa nonimmigrant status for a total of three (3) years is required to depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three (3) months before seeking readmission as an H-2B visa nonimmigrant.

Family members of H-2B Visa Workers

Any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an H-2B worker may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant classification.  Family members in H-4 nonimmigrant classification may not engage in employment in the United States.


Mr. Galstyan, an experienced immigration lawyer, has successfully handled countless H-2B visa cases. Our firm has the ability and experience to help you in getting your H-2B visa. Aside from preparing the main petition and filing it with the USCIS we also work with you employer during the Temporary Labor Certification with the Department of Labor. Please contact our office for your free, no obligation consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.

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