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Immigration Resources

What To Know about H-2B Temporary Work Visas

Posted by Kripa Upadhyay | Nov 24, 2021

The H-2B temporary work visa is a program that allows United States employers or agents to employ foreign nationals to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs in the United States. These employers must meet specific requirements to qualify for the program and must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on the prospective worker's behalf. Both skilled and unskilled seasonal non-agricultural workers may apply for the H-2B visa, but they must first have a job offer for a position with a shortage of workers in the United States.

There are various positions available for this temporary visa, including business trainers, entertainers, camp counselors, instructors, and athletes. Another crucial factor is that the H-2B visa holder can bring a spouse and unmarried, under 21-year-old children. There are a lot of benefits to the H-2B temporary work visa program and it can offer a lot of opportunities for many individuals.

Guide to Qualify for the H-2B Temporary Work Visa

There will always be employers who cannot find workers, even with high unemployment levels in the United States. Whether it's based on location, skill level, or a specialized job, countless employers are searching for someone from another country to work for their position. However, there are some critical factors that you should consider when seeking employment under an H-2B visa.


The main thing to recognize is that the employer is the one to file the visa. While it links to the individual working for the company, there are a few requirements that the employer must meet:

  • Needs seasonal, one-time, intermittent, or peak load employment
  • Time-frame for the job must be less than one year
  • No qualified or willing U.S. workers are available for the position

There are also essential requirements that the employee must meet for them to qualify for the position:

  • Must have a valid offer from a U.S. employer for a seasonal or temporary position
  • Must have qualifying abilities and background for the position
  • Must have proof that they intend to return home before the visa expires

If both the employee and employer fall under all the requirements, they can apply for the H-2B visa. 

Time Constraints

While the initial H-2B visa lasts for up to one year, there are some ways for the individual to stay in the U.S. longer. If the employer can provide evidence that they need the employee's abilities and the employee can show they still plan to return to their home country when required, the employee can stay for an extended one-year increment. However, the maximum time a person can stay in the U.S. under the H-2B visa is three years.

Necessary Documents

In order for the U.S. government to approve the application, both the employee and employer will need to provide proof that they fulfill all the requirements. Some of the documents that the U.S. consulate will likely ask you to bring include:

  • Form DS-160
  • Notice from the USCIS showing I-129 approval
  • Valid passport for you and your accompanying family members
  • Passport style photos for each applicant
  • Documents showing family relationships for accompanying family members
  • Evidence showcasing your intent to leave the United States when the H-2B visa expires

Preparing all the necessary documentation in an organized and timely manner can help you feel more at ease and confident in your H-2B visa application. 

Navigating through the process alone may cause you to miss important information that can cost you the visa. When you're looking to apply for the H-2B visa, contacting an experienced immigration attorney can help you gather and prepare all the required documentation and information you need to qualify for the visa.

Discuss Your Options with an Experienced Washington Immigration Lawyer

Working in the United States can give you expert experience and knowledge that you may not gain anywhere else. The opportunities that come with the H-2B visa are life-changing, and making sure you have all the required documents is essential. When you work with a reliable immigration lawyer at Orbit Law, you can count on them to guide you through the process and help collect the necessary information.

With over ten years of experience working with clients across Washington State, you can trust that we have the tools and resources to help you through your application process. To make sure you are comfortable communicating and expressing your interests, we offer our legal services in English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.

Call (206) 312-8086 or fill out our contact form to discuss your H-2B visa today.

About the Author

Kripa Upadhyay

Kripa Upadhyay Founder/Attorney [email protected] EDUCATION Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA, Juris Doctor (JD)  May 2007 ADMISSIONS Washington State Bar Association: Admitted May 2008 U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Washington: Admitted 2009 U.S...