H-2 Temporary Worker Visas
The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs; while the H-2B program allows foreign nationals to temporarily come to the U.S. to perform non-agricultural temporary services or labor.
To qualify for H-2A nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner must:
- Offer an agricultural job that is of a temporary or seasonal nature.
- Demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
- Show that employing H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- Both the job and the petitioning employer's need for the specific employee must be temporary or seasonal.
- The petitioner's need must generally be one year or less and can be either: (1) a one-time occurrence, (2) a seasonal need, (3) a peak load need, or (4) an intermittent need:
- One Time Occurrence: The petitioner must ascertain that it has not employed workers to perform the services in the past and it will not need workers to perform the services or labor in the future, or that it has an employment situation that is otherwise permanent, but a temporary event of short duration has created the need for a temporary worker.
- Seasonal Need: The petitioner must ascertain that the services or labor is traditionally tied to a season of the year by event or pattern and is of a recurring nature.
- Peak Load Need: The petitioner must establish that it regularly employs permanent workers to perform services or labor at the place of employment and that it needs to supplement its permanent staff at the place of employment on a temporary a basis owing to a seasonal or short-term demand. The temporary additions to staff will not become a part of the petitioner's regular operation.
- Intermittent Need: The petitioner must establish that it occasionally or intermittently requires temporary workers for services or labor for short periods of time.
The process of obtaining an H-2A or H-2B visa is detailed and complex. Our attorneys are well-versed in the regulatory requirements and procedures of both categories so please contact us for a consultation if your business has a need for temporary or seasonal foreign labor.