US Temporary Non-Agriculture Worker H-2B Visas

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US Temporary Non-Agricultural (H-2B) Visas are available for foreign workers in non-agricultural fields to work in the United States, given that there is an insufficient number of domestic laborers to fill the position.

US Temporary Non-Agricultural (H-2B) Visas

H-2B visas are generally used for jobs that are temporary but not agricultural. For example, jobs at ski mountains, beach resorts, or amusement parks.


Generally, H-2B visas are valid for one year, but can be extended incrementally based on one-year periods, with a maximum of three years.

H-2B Requirements

Like H-1A visas, in order to obtain an H-2B visa, an employer must ensure that:

  • The specific job they are attempting to fill is temporary in nature, even if the type of work itself is not temporary. The petitioner must prove that the job is a one-time, short-term occurrence, a seasonal need tied to annual event, season, or pattern, peak time for temporary workers during a busy season, or intermittent need. 
  • The usage of H-2B employees will not have a negative effect on the working conditions, including the wages, of domestic workers employed in similar fields
  • There are not a sufficient number of domestic workers to be employed or that are willing and able to complete the temporary work.
  • The company is appropriately certified by the U.S. Department of Labor

    The countries eligible for H-2B visas is updated yearly by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. The updates for H-2B visas are valid one year from publication.

    Applying for an H-2B Visa

    In order to obtain an H2-B visa, an employer must submit necessary temporary labor certification, submit an I-129 form, and then upon approval, the prospective worker can submit an application.

    H-2B Cap

    There is a limitation, or a "cap," placed on the number of workers allowed to enter the country with H-2B visas per each fiscal year. In a fiscal year, 66,000 H-2B cap visas are issued, but 33,000 of them must begin employment in the first half of the year and the other 33,000 in the second half.

    Any unused visas from the first half are rolled over into the second half, but any unused visas from one fiscal year cannot rollover into the next. 

    H-2B Cap Exemptions

    Any workers in the who have otherwise been counted toward the cap in the same fiscal year are exempt from the cap limit. Additionally, any current H-2B workers either seeing a change of employer or an extension of stay are also exempt.

    Any workers employed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam are also exempt from the Cap until December 2019. Dependents of H-2B Visa holders receive H-4 non-immigrant dependent visas under their beneficiary. 

    Refer to the links below for detailed information regarding H2-B visas.

    H-2B Visa Application Information

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