What is an H2B Visa?
An H2B visa is a work visa permitting US employers to offer temporary jobs to foreign workers to fill temporary non-agricultural workers positions such as landscaping, grounds maintenance, construction, restaurant/hospitality, maintenance, golf, manufacturing, processing, and other speciality services firms.
In order for temporary workers to be approved for an H2B visa, they must be able to prove that US citizens or people with permanent resident status in the US are unable to fill a particular role.
This is because the purpose of the H2B visa is to address shortages of workers in specific fields for seasonal jobs and to bring people to leave their home country of the UK and enter the US.
Who is eligible for the H2B work visa?
In order to qualify for an H2B visa, you must receive a temporary employment offer from an eligible US employer for a role that is either a one-time job, or meets a seasonal, peak-load, or intermittent need. You must also obtain temporary labour certification.
Before submitting an H2B visa application, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a temporary job offer from an eligible U.S.-based company.
- Meet the minimum qualifications and have the skills and experience for the temporary job.
- Be able to demonstrate that you will return to the UK before your H2B work immigration status and visa expires.
- Be a citizen of any of the 70+ countries that the Secretary of State for the USA has approved for the H2B program.
What temporary jobs can you do with an H2B visa?
The permitted jobs that are allowed with the H2B vary but must be for jobs that are considered temporary. Examples of temporary jobs that are eligible to be filled by H2B visa applicants can include:
- Construction labourers
- Amusement and recreation attendants
- Housekeeping cleaners
- Landscaping workers
- Forest and conservation workers
- Waiters and waitresses
- Coaches and scouts
- Production workers
- Food preparation workers
Can I get married on an H2B visa?
Yes, it is possible for an temporary foreign worker to get married in the US while on a H2B visa. There are a number of factors behind the marriage to be approved.
There are however several requirements to do so, with one of the main requirements being your ability to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the marriage is in good faith, which can be shown through relationship history.
After getting married or filing for a marriage license, you must file as a couple for adjustment of status in which you must leave the US, then apply for an appropriate immigrant visa in order to eventually obtain a Green Card. You can only become eligible for a Green Card if the person you marry is a US citizen.
Do note that if you are caught violating immigration laws, you could be accused of committing visa fraud which involves serious consequences. Total Law can support you in this process, or suggest a more appropriate visa, such as a K3 fiance visa.
Can dependents leave the UK and enter the US with me on a H2B?
If you have eligible dependents, it is possible that they can join you in the US while on a H2B worker visa. Eligible dependents include spouse, civil partner and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The application process of getting your dependent’s tourist visa for the US is done via an H4 visa. Dependents can apply for their H4 visa at the same time you submit your H2B visa application. This separate visa grants your dependents entry into the US for as long as your H2B visa remains valid.
Dependents of H2B visa holders are not permitted to work in the US. It is recommended to work with an immigration attorney from our law firm, as obtaining an H4 visa can be complicated.
How Total Law Can Help?
As a team of qualified immigration experts, we can support UK citizens in obtaining their coveted H2B visas to move to the US for temporary jobs.
The Total Law team is available to support every step of the process, and we can support both the US-based petitioner/employer as well as the applicant. We can ensure your application is rock solid to avoid any delays, stress or negative outcomes.
Please know that you can contact our team at Total Law seven days a week, by phone or by online chat on our website. We look forward to working together.
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H 2B Visa holders who change employers or jobs are allowed to have their status updated or changed on their H-2B visas. To do this, the new employer has to file Form I-129, the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, at the appropriate USCIS Regional Service Center.
The H2B visa can be extended for up to one year each time, but extensions can not exceed three years in total. If you have been in the US for three years you must travel outside the US and remain outside for a minimum of three months before returning.
The fee is $460 for an H 2B petition, and the visa fee is $190.