How Much Does an H-2B Visa Cost?
As of January 2021, the USCIS processing fee for an H-2B petition is $460. If you need to apply for a US visa at an embassy or consulate abroad, the visa fee is $190. Certain other fees might apply, depending on your nationality. If you select Premium Processing, which guarantees a decision on Form I-129 (but not necessarily consular processing) within 15 days, there will be an extra fee of $1,500.
Which of my family members can come with me?
H-2B workers can bring their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age to the United States, or they can “follow to join” later, in H-4 status. H-4 status is not granted automatically — you must apply for each family member you wish to accompany you, together with supporting documentation.
How long does it take to process an H-2B visa?
An H-2B typically takes two to four months to process, although it could take longer. Premium processing could significantly shorten the total period of time required to process the H-2B visa petition.
What is the difference between an H-1B and an H-2B visa?
There are several important differences between the H-1B and the H-2B visas, including:
- The H-1B visa requires a college degree or its equivalent. Unlike the H-2B, it is normally used for white-collar occupations.
- The H-1B visa is granted for three years and can be extended for up to six years, while the H-2B can be granted for as little as a few months or for as long as three years.
- Unlike the H-2B, the H-1B visa is a “dual intent” visa, which means that you can legally hold an H-2B visa while at the same time seeking a green card.
Can an H-2B visa lead to US citizenship?
Strictly speaking, no. The H-2B visa is not a dual intent visa, meaning that you are expected to return home after your period of stay expires. There are often ways to obtain permanent residence and US citizenship, but they typically require you to leave the US and return under a different visa status.