The H-2B visa is one of two visas in the H-2 temporary work visa program. While the H-2A visa is designed specifically for temporary agricultural workers, the H-2B visa is designed for temporary workers in non-agricultural occupations.

The H-2B visa program is used by many employers who need foreign workers in a variety of occupations. Unlike the H-1B visa, which is designed for highly skilled professionals, the H-2B visa program attracts more applicants for positions at all levels. 

The U.S. administration recently announced 35,000 additional visas for non-agricultural workers. In this article, you will learn about the requirements to qualify for the program and how to immigrate to the U.S. without difficulty in the context of temporary non-farm work, of course. 

35,000 additional visas for H-2B non-farm workers in the USA

The U.S. Senate announced on March 31, 2022 through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) good news for U.S. businesses and workers around the world. That good news is that 35,000 additional H-2B nonfarm worker visas will be issued. 

These visas are for the second half of fiscal year 2022 and will be available to employers for the summer 2022 season. These visas will be available to U.S. employers between April 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022. 

This is great news for employers in that these visas are a potential lifeline for some seafood processing companies in Alaska that may be irreparably harmed without additional workers this summer.  It’s also good news for workers from around the world to come work in the U.S. 

This release of 35,000 additional visas complements an initial release of 20,000 visas for non-agricultural workers announced in January 2022. This measure has a triple benefit.

First, it helps industries in terms of skilled labor by allowing them to boost their results; second, this measure allows immigrant workers to come and work in the United States for at least a year; and third, this program will help boost the federal state’s economy, given that the Covid-19 health crisis has dealt it a heavy blow.  

What occupations and industries are available for the H-2B visa program?

Basically, the H-2B visa program is designed to help U.S. employers who are having difficulty finding employees in the U.S. in occupations that are experiencing sudden demand. This program allows them to recruit foreign workers to work in their industries. Some of the occupations and industries typically offered under the H-2B visa program include:

  • Hospitality and Tourism;
  • Resort and Amusement Park ;
  • Construction
  • Golf Course
  • maintenance and upkeep ;
  • Ski resorts;
  • Landscaping;
  • warehouse ;
  • restaurants and bars;
  • Retail stores.

Employers seeking H-2B workers have a duty to evaluate the U.S. labor market, in order to certify in their petitions that there is a real need in their industries and that there are not enough capable and available U.S. workers to satisfy that need. Moreover, it must be remembered that the job for which a potential foreign worker is to be solicited is of a temporary nature, i.e. for a limited period of time. It is a seasonal need or an intermittent necessity. 

Which countries are eligible for this H-2B visa program? 

To qualify for this program, you must be a citizen of one of the countries below to be eligible for an H-2B visa.

The eligible countries are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Moldova, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

If you are a national of one of its eligible countries, the H-2B visa program for non-agricultural wage earners is for you. To get there, you absolutely need the steady hand of an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the murky waters of US immigration law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the spouse or child of an H-2B worker obtain  U.S. visa?

Spouses and children (under age 21) of H-2B workers may apply for H-4 nonimmigrant visas, but the employer is not responsible for the family members’ travel or housing expenses.

Is it possible to obtain a Green Card or change status on an H-2B visa?

Generally, the H-2B visa does not allow for immigration to the United States or for obtaining a Green Card. However, there are special circumstances that may allow H-2B visa holders to change their status and continue working in the United States.

For example, if an employee is able to find a new employer in the U.S., he or she will obtain a different visa. Employers can apply for any type of visa for their employees. These can be H-2B visas or H-2A visas for skilled professionals.

Can I get assistance with the process?

If you are interested in this program and need help with the process, you can contact Herman Law Group, a law firm that specializes in immigration law and has been recognized by the federal government for its expertise.

The firm not only assists businesses in all 50 states with the recruitment process, but also assists families and workers from around the world to immigrate to the United States for seasonal work. The firm can be reached at 1-216-696-6170, and you have the option to book online to schedule a consultation with one of Herman Legal Group’s experienced immigration attorneys. Consultations can be done via zoom, skype, whatsapp, facetime or in a booth.


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