H-2B Nonimmigrant Visa Application Guide

The H-2B is a nonimmigrant visa that is issued to foreign workers who intend to work in non-agricultural industries in the United States.

It is most certainly a viable option for foreign nationals who want to work temporarily in the United States, but who do not have a bachelor's degree or higher.

The H-2B visa is valid for one year or less, though it can be renewed for up to three years.

Who May Qualify for H-2B Classification?

Effective Jan. 18, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security has identified a list of 63 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2B program.

The H-2B is a petition-based visa, which means that an employer must first submit a temporary labor certification to the US Department of Labor before he or she can petition a foreign national to live and work in the United States temporarily.

In order to do so, the petitioner must establish that the job is temporary in nature and that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing and qualified to do the work.

A job is considered temporary if it is an intermittent need, a seasonal need, a peak-load need or a one-time occurrence.

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Steps in Applying for an H-2B Visa

Before a foreign national can apply for an H-2B Visa, the petitioner needs to secure a Temporary Labor Certification for H-2B Workers from the US Department of Labor.

After receiving the certification, the employer should submit the Form I-129 with USCIS.

Once the Form I-129 is approved, the prospective worker can now apply for a visa at any U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

In order to do so, here are the steps:

Step 1: Secure a Digital Photo for your Visa Application
Make sure to follow the photo requirements specified by USCIS.

Step 2: Complete the Form DS160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
This form is completed electronically and must be submitted online.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment for your VISA interview
It is recommended that you schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. Also, make sure to schedule as soon as you can because wait times vary drastically depending on the season.

Step 4: Pay the Non-Refundable Visa Application Fee

Step 5: Gather the Required Documentation

The required documentation includes but is not limited to the following:

• Valid Passport
• Form DS-160 Confirmation Page
• Application Fee Receipt
• Receipt Number

Other supporting documentation may be required to establish that you are fully qualified. These include any documents that exhibit proof of social and economic ties to your home country.

Step 6: Attend your VISA interview

H-2B Work Visa Application Guide
Download the H-2B Work Visa Application Guide to learn more about the application process for this visa category.

It contains a step-by-step-guide that will help you file your application as efficiently and quickly as possible.

The application guide contains the following sections:

• Overview of H-2B Visa
• H-2B Visa Eligibility and Requirements
• Comprehensive Application Guide with Forms
• Document Checklist
• Information on H2B Visa Extension
• Information on Green Cards
• List of all USCIS (formerly INS) offices nationwide
• List of United States Embassies and Consulates


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