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San Antonio H2B Visa Lawyer

What is the H2B Visa?

The H2B Visa is a work visa most commonly used by non-agricultural foreign workers in jobs characterized as seasonal or intermittent, as opposed to year-round jobs. The H2B employer must be able to prove that its labor needs are seasonal, temporary or peak load, which means that the labor need should be for less than 12 months. Employers with continuous or ongoing labor needs are not eligible to hire H2B workers. The type of work performed by the H2B worker is irrelevant, so long as it is non-agricultural work. What matters is that the employer’s need for labor be temporary as opposed to lasting 12-months or more. USCIS only issues 66,000 H2B visas per year. This visa is only available to citizens of countries which have been designated as H2B eligible countries. The H2B visa is also used by entertainers going on tour in the US, professional minor league players, as well as movie and film workers. To discuss the H2B work visa, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

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San Antonio H2B Visa Attorney

These are the main benefits that H2B workers receive.

1. Live in the USA: With the H2B Visa, you and your immediate family will be able to legally live in the USA. Immediate family includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21.

2. Work in the USA: You will be authorized to legally work in the USA.

3. Public Education: Your children will have access to schools in the USA and will be able to attend classes from Pre-K to high school.

4. Social Security Number & Driver’s License: H2B workers are eligible to obtain a Social Security Number and a US Driver’s License.

To qualify for the H2B, both the employer and the employee must meet certain main requirements. The employer must be able to prove a seasonal need for H2B workers. Often historical payroll records are used to prove increased seasonal need for labor. Unlike the H2A visa, the employer is not required to provide free meals and free housing to workers. On the other hand, the worker must have a job offer from an H2B employer for non-agricultural employment. Additionally, the worker must be a citizen of an approved country. This H2B country list is subject to annual changes. Call our Immigration Attorney to request an updated H2B country list. Lastly, there is limited number of H2B visa available each year, so it is important to apply before USCIS runs out of work visas. Our immigration attorneys are knowledgeable on the requirements of the H2B work visa.

Before a worker can apply for an H2B visa, the employer must be approved to be an H2B employer. To do this, the employer must file a Labor Certification application with the US Department of Labor. The Labor Certification can be approved if the employer can show that there is a shortage of US workers available for the non-agricultural jobs it wishes to fill with H2B workers. Once the employer is certified as eligible to hire H2B workers by the US Department of Labor, then applications for H2B status for the workers are submitted first with USCIS and then with the US Consulate outside the US where the H2B workers live.

The H2B can be issued for a period of up to 364 days. The duration of an H2B depends on the approved period of employment on the Labor Certification. For example, if the Labor Certification was approved for 200 days, then the visa will be issued for 200 days.

You may extend the H2B visa for a total of up to 3 years. Extensions are issued in 1 year increments. For an extension to be approved, the H2B employer must prove that it still has a seasonal need for labor. To get another H2B visa after you have it for 3 years, you must leave the USA for 3 continuous months before applying for the H2B again.

1. Will I be able to travel in and out of the US with the H2B visa?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of times you can travel in and out of the USA.

2. Can I bring my dependents with me to the US with the H2B visa?

Yes, the dependents of an H2B worker get an H4 visa.

For more information Contact Our San Antonio H2B Visa Lawyer

To set up a consultation with Immigration Lawyer Gerardo Menchaca to discuss the time, costs and other requirements associated with applying for the H2B work visa, please call (210) 858-9681.

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