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Corporate Immigration:Temporary Visas:Employee and Business Visitors:H-2B

H-2B Temporary Workers

The H-2B visa category is used to temporarily employ foreign nationals in a nonagricultural position for which the employer has a temporary need and for which qualified U.S. workers are unavailable. These foreign nationals must be entering the country to fill an employer's need that is a "one-time" occurrence, seasonal, a peak load time, or intermittent. Typically, H-2B Temporary Workers work in industries such as landscaping, hospitality or construction.

A Labor Certification must be sought from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) certifying that the foreign nationals are not displacing qualified, unemployed U.S. workers in the region and that the proposed employment does not adversely affect the working conditions of U.S. workers who are similarly employed. This "Labor Certification" can be filed up to 90 days prior to the date the foreign nationals are needed.

Once "Labor Certification" has been secured, a petition based on the Certification is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). The initial period of stay granted to the workers admitted to the U.S. in H-2B status is governed by the period of time that his or her temporary services are needed. This period must be reasonable in terms of the duties to be performed and cannot extend beyond ten months. However, a worker may remain in the U.S. in H-2B status for a maximum of three (3) years before needing to depart the U.S. for one year.

There are only 66,000 H-2B visas available each fiscal year. Every year, 33,000 of these H-2B visa numbers are released on October 1 and 33,000 are released on April 1. Employers with a temporary need for employees quickly scoop up these available H-2Bs. Therefore, it is imperative that employers interested in utilizing the H-2B program to supplement their workforce be in contact with a firm such as Grzeca Law Group to be ready to apply for H-2Bs immediately when they become available.

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