Key Qualifications for H-2B Classification

The JTP Agency
December 12, 2023

The H-2B visa program facilitates the temporary employment of foreign nationals in non-agricultural positions within the United States. It serves as a crucial tool for employers facing labor shortages, while offering valuable professional opportunities for skilled foreign workers. However, navigating the H-2B landscape requires a clear understanding of the key qualifications for both employers and prospective workers. This comprehensive guide delves into the essential criteria for H-2B classification, empowering you to determine your eligibility and navigate the application process with confidence.

Here are the key qualifications for H-2B classification:

For the Employer:

  • Labor Shortage: The employer must demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work. This requires obtaining a Temporary Labor Certification (TLC) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or Guam Department of Labor (Guam DOL).
  • Wage and Working Conditions: The employer must ensure that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. This means offering wages and benefits that are comparable to those offered to U.S. workers in similar positions.
  • Temporary Need: The employer's need for the worker's services must be temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job itself is temporary or permanent. The temporary need can be categorized as:
  • One-time occurrence: A short-term, one-time event has created the need for a temporary worker.
  • Seasonal need: The work is traditionally tied to a specific season of the year and is recurring.
  • Peak load need: The employer needs to temporarily supplement their permanent staff due to a seasonal or short-term demand.
  • Intermittent need: The employer occasionally needs temporary workers for short periods.

For the Prospective Worker:

  • Nationality: The worker must be a national of a country designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as eligible to participate in the H-2B program.
  • Qualifications: The worker must possess the necessary skills and experience to perform the temporary job duties.
  • Documents: The worker must have all required documentation, including a valid passport and visa.

Additional Resources:

Foreign Labor Certification: