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H-2B Visa/Status – Temporary and Seasonal Workers

Temporary or seasonal employment opportunities in the United States are sometimes able to offer foreign workers a better chance to provide for their families than are the jobs available in their own countries. Moreover, many American businesses benefit from their ability to draw on international labor during periods of heightened productivity or demand. H-2B Visa/Status is the solution for many of these needs. Contact Austin immigration lawyer William Jang at 512-323-2333 to discuss your case.

Basic Requirements:

H-2B Visa/Status is available for temporary and seasonal non-agricultural skilled or unskilled workers. The employer must intend to employ the worker temporarily and must be able to show a temporary need for the worker’s skills. To qualify as a temporary need, the need must be one of the following: a recurring seasonal need, an intermittent need, a peak load need, or a need based on a one-time occurrence.

Annual Cap:

Unfortunately H-2B visas/status are subject to an annual cap. Only 66,000 new H-2B visa/status can be approved each fiscal year. This annual cap is divided into two portions, with 33,000 being distributed in the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 being distributed in the second half of the fiscal year. The first half of the fiscal year for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) starts on the first day of October of each year. The second half of the fiscal year for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) starts on the first day of April of each year. An H-2B petition can be filed up to six months in advance. In the fiscal year of 2005, the H-2B cap was reached just three months into the fiscal year. Furthermore US workers must not be available for the offered position. The temporary worker must not displace a qualified US worker in the region of the proposed employment and the proposed employment must not adversely affect the working conditions of US workers who are similarly employed.

Duration of Stay:

H-2B status initial length is governed by the period of time that the temporary worker’s services are needed. This period must be reasonable in terms of the duties to be performed and cannot extend beyond an initial period of one year. Extensions of stay in increments of one year are possible if there is an extraordinary circumstance, but the worker cannot continuously work in the United States under this visa/status for more than three years.

Family Members:

Spouse and children (under 21 and not married) are eligible to obtain H-4, which is a derivative status. They are allowed to accompany the H-2B temporary worker and remain in the United States. Individuals holding H-4 status may also attend schools.

Application Process:

The application is a three step process. First the Petitioning Company must file for a labor certification with the state workforce agency which requires the petitioning company to advertise for the position. Second, the Petitioning Company must file a nonimmigrant petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS). Third, the temporary worker must apply at the US Consulate office in his or her home country for an H-2B visa.

Fees:

The following is the attorney’s fee that the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC charges for a typical case of this type when filed in the United States at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) (please read the disclaimer on this page) and the filing fee currently charged by US Citizenship and Immigration Service (US CIS):

  • $6,000.00 attorney’s fees for the principal beneficiary petition
  • $500.00 attorney’s fees for each additional worker (if more than one worker)
  • Cost of advertising the position (varies)
  • $325.00 US CIS filing fee for the main petition
  • $290.00 US CIS filing fee for the family’s application (if family is accompanying and is in US)
  • $150.00 US CIS Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee (for initial petition)
  • $1,225.00 US CIS filing fee for premium processing (optional)
  • Consular Office Fees (varies)

What do we need to get started?

Information and Documents needed for H-2B

Sample Retainer Agreement

Contact Us

Let us help you ensure the smoothest possible immigration application process. Contact the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC at 512-323-2333 to speak with a skilled and experienced Austin immigration attorney today.

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