US temporary Work Permits are a highly sought-after document. And, as our current economic climate dictates one should “go where the work is”. Fortunately, there are opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers. However, the true obstacle may be satisfying the criteria set by the Immigration Board as well as the immigration officers.
Many may find these applications to be complicated and frustrating. Which in turn may affect the chances for an approved application. For this reason, immigration lawyers who are more familiar with such challenges, may offer a solution and becoming a potential asset.
H-2B Visa Work Permits and the Qualifications
H-2B visas are work permits available to applicants who are coming to the United States for temporary employment which is non-agricultural.
The most essential aspect of qualifying for an H-2B visa is show the INS that your prospective employment in the U.S is temporary or seasonal (typically, one year or less) and is non-agricultural. You also require a suitable background for the job that is offered.
In most cases, the job offered is tied to a specific project that requires the services of a foreign employee and that can be completed within a finite time period. Employment involving temporary project management and consulting positions and training positions are typical examples of H-2B jobs.
Understanding Labour Certification
As a potential employee you must satisfy the U.S government that there are no qualified Americans willing or able to hold the position offered by the U.S employer. This involves filing applications to the Department of Labor (DOL) and to the INS. The DOL will require that the U.S. employer advertise for the position to American workers. Only where the employer fails in finding a qualified U.S worker, will the temporary labor certification be approved. This is better known as Labour Certification.
H-2B Visa Petition
Once Labour Certification has been established, the U.S employer is required to file an I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker with an INS Service Center with the jurisdiction over the place of employment. Once approved, the foreign worker can apply for the visa at a U.S Consulate in his or her home country. If the foreign worker is already in the United States they may file in the U.S under certain conditions.
Duration of H-2B Status
H-2B status is valid for a maximum of three years. After this three year period has expired, the foreign worker cannot seek to extend or change status, nor can they be readmitted to the U.S. under the H and L non immigrant classification unless such person has resided outside the United States for six months.
Getting Help From a Professional
The specific steps of this application process are critical to its approval. Missing even one key component can potentially unravel all of efforts. Enlisting the expertise of an experienced immigration lawyer may be the ideal option. At Niren and Associates we have successfully process thousand of visa application and possess the know-how to provide help to those that need it.
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since obtaining my H-2B Visa, and I cannot thank you enough for all your help last year. Without your help to resolve my issue with US Immigration, I wouldn’t have been able to continue with the job opportunity I had. – Pablo H.