H-2B Worker in a Seasonal Occupation

What is the H–2B non–immigrant visa?

The H–2B visa allows non–immigrants (foreign nationals) to come to the United States to engage in temporary work in certain kinds of employment.

What kinds of employment qualify?

The job must be non–agricultural in nature, and it must be intermittent, a one–time occurrence, or in service of what's known as a "peak load need." (If an employer has a special peak season, during which things get extra busy, this would be a "peak load need.")

Film crew workers, entertainers or dancers on a tour with a show, and sports figures playing in a seasonal league might be good candidates for H–2B visas.

How can you determine whether your job falls under these guidelines?

It's actually not up to the petitioner. The employer (or your potential employer) has the responsibility of showing that he or she needs H–2B visa workers. The employer can produce documents like contracts as evidence. Be aware that the actual nature of the work is not important here. It is the temporary quality of the work that matters. In general, the employment needs to have a clear beginning and a clear terminus point. For instance, as mentioned above, a minor league softball player who comes to the U.S. for a season would likely be a good H–2B visa candidate because the softball season has a clear starting point and ending point.

What can H–2B visa applicants expect, once the application goes through?

An H–2B visa allows you to travel into and out of the United States freely. Your spouse and immediate dependents can come with you to the United States. You can enjoy employee benefits. And if you get a new job offer, you may potentially be able to change the jobs and stay in the United States.

What are the limits to the rights granted by the H–2B visa?

As we mentioned above, your job needs to be temporary, and your employer must demonstrate the need for H–2B visa workers. Your dependents cannot work in the United States, and the "ticking clock" on your visa will run down whether you are abroad or in the United States.

What if you have legal questions regarding your H–2B visa?

We at the law offices of Howard Law can help. Our reputable, well credentialed, and battle proven attorneys are standing by to answer any of your questions or concerns at 1 (800) 872–5925 (or find us on the web here at www.howardlawpc.com). A consultation with our team is completely free and no obligation, and we can provide the key strategic guidance you need to make smart decisions regarding your visa application.