The H-2B process is time-sensitive and challenging to navigate without proper guidance. For employers seeking H-2B employment starting Oct. 1, 2023, the process begins now, and we recommend reaching out in early February.
Employers primarily use the H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural employment. The employment must be full-time (35 hours per week or more) and is limited in duration (i.e., generally for nine months at a time).
The H-2B, like the H-1B visa, has an annual cap. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released 33,000 visas on October 1, 2022, and will release another 33,000 on April 1, 2023.
That said, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) announced that an additional 64,716 H-2B visas would be available for FY 2023.
If you think you have candidates who qualify for the H-2B, we can help you explore the next steps.
There are four ways a company may demonstrate the need for the H-2B visa:
H-2Bs in this category are traditionally tied to a season of the year by an event, pattern, and recurring nature.
Examples of industries that fall into the Seasonal category:
In this category, employers regularly employ permanent workers to perform the services or labor at the place of employment. Additionally, employers must temporarily supplement their permanent staff at their employment location due to seasonal or short-term demand. As such, the temporary additions to staff will not become part of an employer’s regular operations.
Examples of industries that fall into the Peakload category:
In this category, an employer has not employed permanent or full-time employees to perform the services or labor for short periods.
Here’s an example: A company produces limited edition porcelain ware to commemorate a special event, but they only do so from time to time. This production is not on a fixed schedule.
In this category, the employment situation is permanent, but a temporary event of a short duration has created the need for an employer to hire a temporary worker or the employer must establish that it has not employed workers to perform the services or labor in the past and that it will not need workers to perform the services or labor in the future.
As such, the employer needs workers to perform the service or labor but will not need these workers to perform the services or labor in the future.
Any industry can fall into this category. For example, say a construction company is refurbishing a church and needs to bring in stain-glass experts who happen to be foreign. The construction company can utilize the H-2B on a one-time basis to bring the experts into the U.S. to help complete the project.