H2B Visa

PPID Immigration Lawyers help individuals and employers obtain H2B and other Temporary Work Visas and Permanent Residence Green Cards.

An H2B Visa will allow employers in non-agricultural industries to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. The authorization is given for a limited time, usually up to nine months, to help meet specific needs like seasonal work, busy periods, or intermittent requirements.

When faced with a shortage of available U.S. workers to fill certain positions, employers have the option to initiate the H-2B application process. This process begins with the employer requesting a temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Once they have obtained the certification, they proceed to file Form I-129, along with the original temporary labor certification, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Next, individuals who are seeking employment opportunities in the U.S. from outside the country must go through the following steps: They need to apply for a visa and/or admission through the U.S. Department of State or at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. If approved, they will be granted the necessary authorization to enter the U.S. They can then proceed to enter the country through a designated port of entry. To learn more, reach out to our experienced lawyers at PPID.

PPID Attorneys Work to Obtain H-2B Visas for Temporary Foreign Workers

We help applicants and sponsors navigate the legal process.

The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers in non-agricultural industries. Authorization is for a limited amount of time, often to meet seasonal need, peak-load need or intermittent need, generally for up to nine months. If you are an employer who needs such workers, the immigration attorneys at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP in New York City are ready to help. Our knowledgeable lawyers help you navigate the visa system effectively in order to meet your goals.

Employers who have a seasonal or short-term demand for labor that cannot be met domestically can file an Application for Temporary Employment Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. In doing so, the employer promises that its H-2B visa workers (and non-visa workers doing substantially the same work) will meet several requirements, including:

  • Pay that meets or exceeds the highest of the federal, state or local minimum wage, for all hours worked during the entire period of the job order.
  • Workers paid on piece rates, commissions, bonuses, or other incentives, shall receive a guaranteed wage every workweek that meets or exceeds the offered wage.
  • Working conditions must be comparable to those offered to American workers.
  • The employer must make all deductions from workers’ paychecks required by law. Additional deductions must be reasonable and must be disclosed in the filing.
  • The bona fide job opportunity must be for at least 35 hours per workweek and at least 75 percent of the work hours in a 12-week period, known as the “three-fourths guarantee.”
  • Employers must provide workers with all tools, equipment, and materials for the job without cost.
  • Employers must respect the labor rights of H-2B visa workers under the regulations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Labor.
  • Employers cannot accept payments from workers in exchange for providing H-2B visas.

The employer is required to keep accurate records of workers’ earnings, hours of work offered and hours worked. As for visa expenses, the employer is required to pay for visa, border crossing and visa-related expenses for their H-2B workers, by advance payment individually, direct payment to service providers or reimbursement during the first workweek. Under certain circumstances, employers may be required to pay daily commuting costs for the first workweek. Employers are also required to pay return transportation and subsistence costs after the completion of the work period.

In hiring and recruitment of workers on H-2B visas, employers must:

  • Forbid any recruiter from accepting remuneration from a prospective hire.
  • First, offer the job opportunity to any qualified U.S. worker.
  • Refrain from locking out or laying off any similarly employed U.S. worker.

Foreign employees must understand that H-2B visas are not for immigration purposes. To apply, they must:

  • Have a job offer from a U.S. employer to do temporary work.
  • Have the appropriate background, experience, skills, and ability to perform the job.
  • Intend to leave the U.S. before the expiration date on the visa.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is charged with oversight of all H2-B applications.

The H2B Visa application process

If an employer cannot find U.S. workers to fill positions, the employer may begin the H-2B application process by requesting a temporary labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor and filing Form I-129 with the original temporary labor certification to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. From there, prospective workers outside of the U.S. must apply for a visa and/or admission with the U.S. Department of State or at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Once approved, they can come into this country through a port of entry. To learn more about the H-2B visa application process, consider contacting an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer in New York who has helped thousands of employers and workers prepare all of the necessary paperwork.

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