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H-2B visa - requirements and procedure

08th November 2010
By Samuel Beckett in Immigration Law
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Individuals who wish to work in the US try to enter the US in various categories. One such non immigrant visa which brings the foreign nationals into the US to do the non agricultural jobs is the H-2B visa .These are used by the US employers to engage the foreign national in the seasonal, intermittent, one time occurrence or peak load need jobs.

A great way to temporarily live in the US and work on the seasonal jobs and have some fun too, the best option is to apply for H-2B visa. For example, if you want to work as a ski instructor or work in the restaurant and have fun at the same time, then this visa is the right choice. Some of the jobs which are possible with a H-2B visa are as staff in motels / hotels, Resorts, hospitality workers, chefs and in theme parks, cruise ships, ticket sales, construction workers, landscaping, ski resorts, water parks, security, golf courses, ride operators, restaurants and bars.

Requirements for the H-2B visa are
the foreign national or job seeker should have a job offer for a temporary job from the employer

minimum qualifications should be met by the employee for the job that he has offered
the H2b visa should be filed at the Immigration Bureau by the US employer
When the visa expires or job ends the H2b visa holder should return home

Processing time for H2-b visa:

Depending on the employer's need H-2B visa is made available for the temporary workers. Generally the authorized period is about one year, but the employer can extend for three years if necessary. Once the foreign national is certified with the H2-B visa certification it cannot be transferred from one employer to another employer; .the certification is only to authenticate the specific job, specific number of workers and for the employment period.

Generally there is a numerical limit for the number of foreign nationals who will be accepted for the H-2B visa during financial year. Once the 'cap' or numerical limit is reached, USCIS will not accept the petitions for H-2B visas. The process of H2B visa is a multi-step process.

Step one: The employer who petitions the employee must submit a temporary labor certification application to the Department of Labor.

Step two: After obtaining the approved temporary labor certification form the Department of Labor, the employer should file Form I 129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker .The approved labor certificate should be filed with the form I 129 .

Step three: Once the form I 129 is approved by the USCIS, H2-B visa holders who are outside the US, may apply with the US Department of State at the Consulate abroad or US Embassy for H2b visa.
The H-2B visas will be only approved for nationals of countries that have been designated by the Homeland Security.
The list of eligible countries for H-2B visas vary from year to year. The visa does not guarantee entry into the US, as it can be denied at the port of entry. The officials at the port of entry issues the Arrival and Departure Record which shows the extension of stay. However, the decision to grant or deny the extension is decided by the USCIS.
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