Do you want to hire foreign workers for a temporary occupation in less than a year for your nonagricultural business, and are you still unsure how to bring them to the U.S.? H-2B Visa is the answer to your question.
Do not worry; we are here to run you through the process and the role of an H-2B visa recruitment agency in processing the H-2B Visa.
The United States Department of Labor’s rule requires employers to confirm that there are no U.S. citizens capable of doing the job, amongst other things, before hiring foreign workers.
So, Single-handedly sourcing for foreign workers by employers for this purpose is rigorous, but with an H-2B Visa recruitment agency, it is made easy.
What is an H-2B Visa?
An H-2B visa is a type of work visa that allows employers to hire temporary workers who are foreigners to fill temporary nonagricultural job positions such as Landscaping, grounds maintenance, construction, restaurant/hospitality, maintenance, golf, manufacturing, processing, and other specialty services firms.
As stated earlier, the approval of the visa is dependent on the fact U.S. workers are not available for the job, therefore, the need for qualified workers.
The H-2B visa was implemented to address shortages of workers in specific fields for a fleeting season.
However, at times, the demand for workers is dependent on the time of the year; for example, the need for landscapers is prevalent when maintenance is required to care for the Client’s property.
Tell me about the H-2B visa cap?
There is a statutory limit to the number of foreign workers that can be granted an H2B Visa in a fiscal year in the U.S.
The Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for H-2B workers who start employment in the first half of the year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for H-2B workers who start work in the second half of the year (April 1 – September 30).
Is it necessary to hire U.S. workers?
The employer must be certified to have a seasonal or one-time requirement for less than one year at first. In addition, there must be no qualified and willing employees in the U.S. who are available for the job. This can only be known after a recruitment process is conducted according to the recruiting requirements.
How do I apply for the H2B Program?
Typically, the application process takes about 12 weeks. Each step is dependent on the success of the previous step.
The process is a three-step procedure :
Step 1: Temporary Labor Certificate
The employer submits the Temporary Labor Certificate Application to the Department of Labor (DOL).
This process starts by applying for a prevailing wage determination, which is the setting of the minimum wage to be paid to the H-2B employee based on the area of employment and position employers were trying to fill with the H-2B worker.
Then, the employer submits a job order with the local State Workforce Agency and the H=2B application for Temporary Employment Certification (TEC) Form 9142B.
Step 2: Submission of Form I-129 to USCIS
This is done after receiving the Temporary Labor Certificate because Form I-129 will be submitted alongside the certificate to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. (USCIS).
Step 3: Application for Visa in H-2B status
Employees from outside the United States must apply for a visa and entrance to the country. First, the application will be completed at a U.S. Department of State (DOS) embassy or consulate overseas.
Then the employee will apply for admission to the U.S. with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a U.S. port of entry or apply for access to the U.S. in H-2B classification in cases where an H2B visa is not required.
H2B Visa Recruitment Agencies
Getting an H-2B visa requires going through a step-to-step procedure mandatorily highlighted by the Labor Department and the Federal law applicable to the U.S. immigration services.
Employers mostly can not cross the hurdles of the rules and regulations to be complied with on the H-2B program requirement. Employers are advised to engage the services of recruitment agents to do this.
When hiring, recruitment agencies operate as middlemen between employers and employees.
It is “a blue flag” if the law firm you are engaging at the point of hiring foreign workers to process your H2B visa uses a recruiting agency.
However, you sure are in good hands. In all, recruitment agencies ease assisting employers in finding dependable workers and providing support to foreign workers in obtaining employment opportunities in the United States.
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) publishes public disclosure data for foreign labor recruiters with a caveat.
HOWEVER, the U.S. Department of Labor does not endorse any foreign labor agent or recruiter listed on the Foreign Labor Recruiter List, nor does inclusion imply compliance with the H-2B program.
The essence of publishing the Foreign Labor Recruiter List is to better position the U. S Department of Labor to police recruitment violations, and employees are better protected against fraudulent recruiting tactics.
In addition, H-2B workers can utilize the case number(s) linked with a recruiter in the list to find the job order(s) for which the recruiter is looking for workers in OFLC’s Electronic Job Registry.
Recruiting agencies are valuable for several reasons, amongst which are :
- They know the market; getting capable H-2B workers is their job
- They guide the beneficiaries/employees through the adequate process
- It is cost-effective to hire a recruitment agency in the long run.
- They ensure employers meet all domestic recruiting obligations.
Eligibility Requirements for H2B Classification
By submitting an Application for TEC (Application), an employer seeking H-2B certification must comply with some conditions, which are some of the challenges the recruitment agencies will solve for employers.
Considering that some of these requirements are to be met before the foreign workers resume, some are also to be provided for an H-2B worker. See the following :
Hiring U.S. workers U.S. workers.
Employers are obliged to recruit U.S. workers to guarantee that no qualified workers are available in the United States. Then, the fit and available applicants must be hired.
Submit the recruitment report to the OFLC, Employment and Training Administration.
Advertisement of the job opportunity
The advertisement must include :
- The employer’s name and contact information
- area of employment
- A description of the job
- A statement that the position is temporary and full-time, including the total number of job openings the employer, intends to fill;
- The wage offer(s) for working any overtime hours if overtime will be available
- On-the-job training will be provided to the H-2B workers, depending on the job description
- The wage the employer is offering
- Lodging or other facilities the employer will offer to workers or intends to assist workers in securing since employers are not obliged to provide housing.
- Deductions not required by law that the employer will make from the worker’s paycheck, if applicable
- Transportation, including subsistence of the guest workers to come to the U.S. and return expenses, will be provided as required.
- Work tools, supplies, and equipment will be provided to the worker without charge;
- The employer will provide daily transportation to and from the worksite;
- A statement summarizing the three-fourths guarantee as required
- Applicants will be directed to apply at the nearest office of the SWA in the State where the advertisement appeared, that SWA’s contact information, and, if applicable, the job order number.
Advertisement of the job opportunity in newspapers
An ad in a language other than English on two separate days, one of which must be a Sunday, and save copies of a newspaper page.
Obligations to contact former U.S. employees
Compulsorily, employers must solicit the return of any U.S. worker who worked in the occupation and location for which H-2B workers were being sought in the previous year. Employees laid off within 120 calendar days of the date of need are included, but not those who were fired for cause or abandoned the worksite.
Contact a union and the workers’ bargaining representative, if applicable.
If the occupation or industry is traditionally unionized, the SWA will distribute the job order to the appropriate union(s) to solicit referrals.
Additional requirements regarding posting and written notice
There will be a need for other notices if there is no bargaining representative or the Certifying Officer(C.O) directs the employer to do so in the Notice of Acceptance.
Conducting additional recruitment
In some cases, the C.O. may direct the employer to conduct additional recruitment if there is a good chance that qualified U.S. workers are available for the job.
Referrals of U.S. workers by the State Workforce Agency for employment
SWAs will refer to employ individuals informed of the terms and conditions of work, qualified, and available for the job by accepting the referral.
Preparation of recruitment report
It is mandatory that the employer prepares, signs, and dates a written recruitment report as required. The recruitment report must be updated throughout the recruitment period, until 21 days before the first need date.
Disclosing agreements with foreign recruiters
The employer and its attorney/agent must provide a copy of agreements with the recruitment agents it engages or intends to engage in recruiting H-2B workers under this application.
H 2B VISA FAQs
1#Who employs H-2B workers?
Employers that temporarily need to hire seasonal workers to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. However, the employment must be limited, such as a one-time occurrence or seasonal need.
2#Which job qualifies for an H-2B Visa?
Temporary nonagricultural job positions such as Landscaping, grounds maintenance, construction, restaurant/hospitality, maintenance, golf, manufacturing, processing, and other specialty services firms are examples of H-2B visa jobs.
4#How much does an H-2B Visa cost?
As of January 2021, the USCIS charged a $460 processing fee for an H-2B petition, while the visa fee is $190 if you need to apply for a U.S. visa as a seasonal worker at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Other fees, depending on your nationality, may apply.
5#Which countries are eligible for H-2B Visa?
The Department of Homeland Security publishes a list of H-2B eligible countries in the Federal Register. Note that the eligibility is only valid for one year from the date of publication. The secretary of homeland security may consider adding a country to the Eligible Country List if the U.S. Department of State recommends it or if an unlisted foreign government submits a written request. Potential seasonal workers should confirm eligibility.
6#How long can you stay in the United States on an H-2B visa?
The H-2B classification allows for a maximum period of three years. Therefore, a person who has held H-2B nonimmigrant status for a total of three years must leave the country and remain outside the country for three months before applying for readmission as an H-2B nonimmigrant.
7#The three 3 best H-2B Recruitment Agencies
In no particular order;
- The Labor Quest USA
- Federation of Employees and Workers of America (FEWA)
- Work Abroad Network
LET’S HELP YOU
It is clear from the above requirement that a recruitment agency cannot be overlooked when hiring H-2B workers, as they make the H-2B program process less time-consuming.
Are you an employer in the United States interested in hiring seasonal workers to help grow your nonagricultural business, or are you a potential employee looking for temporary work in the United States? Allow us to guide you through the H-2B program because we have been doing so for over two decades. To begin the process, contact Herman Legal Group, LLC today.
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