Congress has extended the H2B visas to allow 15, 000 more visas for the year. This is great news for those looking to hire temporary employees. The H2B visa is available for temporary workers in the following non-agricultural industries:
- Construction workers
- Hotel / Hospitality
- Golf courses
- Resorts / Ski Resorts
- Ski resorts
- Retail stores, and much more.
The duration of the H2B visa is limited to the employer’s need for the temporary workers. The maximum authorized period is one year but can be extended up to three years.
In order to qualify for the H2B program the employer must prove that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do temporary work. The employer must attest that their business will suffer irreparable harm if they are not able to hire the temporary worker. In addition, the employer must obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor before petitioning a worker. Once the labor certification is obtained then the employer may petition the worker. If the worker has family or children under the age of 21 those family members qualify to come the United States with an H-4 visa.
Because the number of visas that will be approved is limited and processing takes time, an employer considering this option must act quickly. Consult an experienced immigration attorney for more information on how to navigate all the requirements for this program.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Kelly O’Reilly is a founding partner with Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and is a former District Adjudications Officer for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Los Angeles and Orange County. As an officer, Mr. O’Reilly was given the responsibility for adjudicating Employment-based and Family-based applications for Lawful Permanent Residency, Requests for Travel, Work Authorization, and Waivers of Inadmissibility. He was also responsible for conducting Marriage Fraud Interviews and requests for Naturalization.
Sully Bryan is the Managing Attorney at the Fresno Office of Wilner & O’Reilly. She is admitted to the Iowa State Bar. Born and raised in Southern California, she is the proud daughter of two immigrants, and the first person in her family to have attended college. She graduated from Whittier College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Religious Studies. During her undergraduate years she spent time as the Co-Chair of MECHA and worked with and mentored Hispanic high school students on the importance of seeking higher education.