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H-2B Program:

The H2B visa is a great way for people who want to temporarily live in the USA, working in seasonal and fun jobs.

If you want to travel to America and work over the Summer in a hotel, theme park or on a cruise ship, or if you want to work in a restaurant or as a ski instructor over the Winter - this is the visa for you.

Types of H2B Visa Jobs / H2B Work includes:
Hospitality workers, Hotels / Motels, Chefs, Resorts and Theme Parks, Ticket Sales, Cruise ships, Construction workers, Maintenance, Janitorial, Ski Resorts, Landscaping, Golf Courses, Water parks, Security, Ride Operators, Restaurants and bars, Warehouse, Retail Stores.

The H2B visa Process and Requirements:
1) The employee must 1st have a job offer from a US employer to perform a temporary job
2) The employee must meet the minimum qualifications for the job that the employer has offered.
3) The US employer files the H2B application with the US Immigration Bureau.
4) The employee must intend to return home when the job ends and visa expires.

Who Qualifies for an H2B visa:
The H2B visa is available to employers of foreign non-professionals Not working in the agricultural field. This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. For H2B purposes, that means:
- Recurring seasonal need;
- Intermittent need;
- Peak-load need; and
- One time occurrence.

H2B Visa duration:
The duration of the H2B is limited to the employer's need for the temporary workers. The maximum authorized period is one year. However, the employer may extend the duration up to three years in some situations.

If the prospective worker is outside of the USA , they must then apply for a visa with the US consulate.
- The H2B visa application includes:
- Job offer from a US employer
- DS-156, Application for Nonimmigrant Visa
- DS-157 if male between the ages of 16 and 45
- The necessary filing fees
- Copy of Notice of Approval of H-2B Petition
- Passport
- One passport-style photo
- Evidence of ties to the home country (family, property, current occupation, etc.) Like with any other nonimmigrant visa, the Consulate needs to see that each applicant has ties to the country so that he or she will return home after their work period ends.

If the prospective worker is already in the USA and is changing from one nonimmigrant status to another, a visa is not required. However, if the worker leaves the US and wants to re-enter, they may need a visa.
Entry into the USA:
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States . The officer at the port of entry has authority to deny admission, even if the applicant has a visa. Also, the officer at the port of entry, not the consular officer, determines the period for which the bearer of a temporary work visa is authorized to remain in the United States . At the port of entry, officials issue Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted. The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay, however, is made solely by the USCIS.

When to file:

Petitions should be filed no more than six months before the proposed employment will begin. However, they should be submitted at least 45 days before the employment will begin, because the petition processing and visa issuance may not be completed before work is to begin.

Filing the I-129 Petition:
In order to be considered as a nonimmigrant under the above classifications, the prospective employer must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approved, the employer is sent a notice of approval, Form I-797.

Note: Effective Jan. 18, 2012, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2B program: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H-2B petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the U.S. interest for that alien to be the beneficiary of such a petition. [See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(iii) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(2) for additional evidentiary requirements.] [This program is not for Nepalese workers]

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