Non-Immigrant Visas through Temporary/Seasonal Work
(H-2B Visas)

Note: Due to growing demand for seasonal workers in the US hospitality and forestry industries, the 2005 H2B visa cap of 66,000 visas was reached on January 3, 2005. This has prompted Florida's hotel and resort owners to lobby for an expansion of the cap. Read more about the strong demand for foreign workers in one Maryland resort area here.

The US government provides an yearly minimum of 66,000 employment-based non-immigrant visas for temporary or seasonal work, called H-2B visas. These applications first require the employer to file a Temporary Labor Certification with the US Department of Labor (DOL) not earlier than 120 days before your hiring. After the certification is approved, the employer must file a petition with the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS). Once the petition is approved, the application can be filed by the applicant. However, if you are within the U.S. you may file the petition and the application together.

Quota: 66,000
Length of Visa: up to one year
Visa Extensions:
one year at a time (max. of three years)
Length of Application Process:

Temporary Labor Certification: 2-4 months
Petition: 1-2 mos.
Visa Application: several weeks

In order to qualify you must:

(1) show that you have a job offer from a U.S. employer to perform temporary or seasonal work

(2) intend to return home after expiration of your visa (applying for a green card from H-2B status can be very difficult, and your temporary visa can be denied extension or even be revoked if you cannot prove you did not intend to obtain a green card when you arrived.)

(3) have your prospective employer show there are no qualified Americans willing or able to do the job

Accompanying relatives of H-2B visa holders are eligible for H-4 visas. They may stay in the U.S. but not work there.


Accompanying Relative:
The spouse or child under the age of 21 of the holder of an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, who is accompanying them to the US

Temporary Work:
usually defined as work on a specific project lasting one year or less

Seasonal Work:
Work that is tied to a certain time of year or season, i.e. minor-league baseball players or entertainment industry workers




Work Visas (List):

Immigrant Work Visas

Non-Immigrant Work Visas:

Immigration Updates

All About The
Green Card Lottery

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