US H2-A and H2-B Visas
The US relies on the hard work and determination of migrants to make its economy work. This is why the H2-A and H2-B visas are so popular with migrants who are looking to gain valuable work experience in the USA. Over the years, we have helped millions of people to find their dream job abroad with our unrivalled immigration and employment consultancy. By only employing the very best in ex-immigration officers and lawyers, we can give our clients the cutting edge they need when it comes to relocation.
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The USA H-2A and H-2B visa service allows an employer in the United States to employ foreign workers in agricultural labour or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Applying for the H-2A or H-2B categories of work visa USA functions much like a UK work permit application, in that the process is employer-led and begins with an offer of employment from a United States based company.
Benefits and Duration
An H-2A or H-2B visa is regarded as a non-immigrant US visa and as such is not intended as a route to permanent residency status in the USA. However, it allows employers who anticipate a shortage of US workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labour or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.
H-2A and H-2B visas for immigration to the US are initially granted for the duration of the anticipated need or season and are usually issued for a year or less, providing there are extraordinary circumstances.
H-2A and H-2B visas for the US depend on an employer petitioning on behalf of a candidate, and candidates cannot initiate the process of application themselves. Applications for USA visas of this class depend on a guaranteed offer of temporary full time employment from a US-based employer to work in America. However, the candidate in question must also satisfy a range of criteria.
The US H2-A visa class is aimed at potential employees who will be immigrating to the USA in order to undertake temporary services or labour for a US employer, in which the employer must demonstrate that that there are no US workers available capable of performing such services or labour and that the employment will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.
The US H-2B visa class is aimed at potential employees who will be immigrating to the USA in order to undertake temporary services or labour for a US employer on a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need, or an intermittent need.
Typically, H-2B workers fill labour needs in occupational areas such as construction, health care, landscaping, lumber, manufacturing, food service/processing, and resort/hospitality services. However, the employer must obtain a temporary labour certification and demonstrate that that there are no US workers available capable of performing such services or labour and that the employment will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.
Furthermore, there is a quota or limited amount of H-2A and H-2B visas allotted in a fiscal year. As such, it is highly recommended that US employers are aware of the labour certification requirements and prepare petitions for their foreign beneficiaries well in advance of the intended employment start date. If visas are used up, then the beneficiary will have to wait until the following fiscal year to apply.
Children and Dependents
Spouses and children under 21 years old are permitted to join the visa applicant in the United States by being granted an H-4 visa. H-4 America visas do not allow their holders to work in America, and as a result, a spouse or dependent will not be permitted to seek or undertake employment without applying in their own capacity for a USA work visa. USA H4 visas do however permit holders to study in the USA.
The Land of Opportunity
Seasonal work is extremely important for countries like the US. Every year thousands of migrant workers travel to the country to gain experience and earn money during the busiest agricultural season. Many, like our client, simply need to immigrate temporarily to find work- here’s his story:
“I was struggling to find any work in my home country and knew that I would have to move elsewhere to be guaranteed employment, so I called IXP. A friend had recommended their services to me after he had travelled to Canada and couldn’t speak highly enough of them. After taking my free assessment, an advisor called me and we discussed my plans. As I only wanted to move temporarily, an H2-A visa was just what I needed. Within a few months, everything was sorted. I was able to travel to America to work for a few months, which was exactly what I was looking for. Now that I’m back home, I hope that I’m able to do the same again next year- with IXP’s expertise, the whole process was so easy.”