How to Apply an H-2B Visa as an Employer

The JTP Agency
September 19, 2023

The H-2B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign nationals to fill nonagricultural jobs for which there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available. H-2B visas are typically issued for seasonal jobs in industries such as hospitality, landscaping, and construction.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to hire H-2B workers, you must:

  • Be a U.S. employer or U.S. agent who meets specific regulatory requirements.
  • Have a temporary need for workers.
  • Offer wages and working conditions that are comparable to those offered to U.S. workers in similar jobs in the same area.
  • Make a good faith effort to hire U.S. workers before hiring H-2B workers.

Application Process

To apply for an H-2B visa for your worker, you must follow these steps:

  1. File a temporary labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL will certify that there are not enough U.S. workers available to fill the position before you can file a petition for your worker.
  2. Once the DOL has certified the temporary labor certification application, file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must include supporting documentation, such as a copy of the temporary labor certification, a copy of the job offer, and proof of your worker's qualifications.
  3. If USCIS approves the petition, your worker must apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Your worker will need to submit a Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, as well as a passport photo and other supporting documentation.
  4. If your worker is approved for a visa, they will be able to travel to the United States to begin working.

Tips for Applying for an H-2B Visa

Here are some tips for applying for an H-2B visa for your worker:

  • Start the application process early, as it can take several months to complete.
  • Make sure that you are familiar with the H-2B visa program and the application process.
  • Gather all of the required supporting documentation before you begin the application process.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your need for H-2B workers and the steps you have taken to hire U.S. workers before hiring foreign nationals.

If you have any questions about the H-2B visa program or would like to get started with the application process, you may consult with JTP Agency by giving us a call or email.

Additional Considerations

As an employer, you are responsible for paying all of the costs associated with the H-2B visa process, including the temporary labor certification fee, the USCIS filing fee, and the visa application fee. You are also responsible for providing your H-2B workers with transportation to and from the United States, housing, and food.

You must also ensure that your H-2B workers are treated fairly and are paid the wages and benefits that were agreed upon in the job offer. You must also provide your H-2B workers with a safe and healthy work environment.

The H-2B visa program can be a complex process, but it can be a valuable resource for employers who need to hire temporary workers to fill positions for which there are not enough U.S. workers available.