With the country experiencing unseasonably warm weather, employer in the fields of construction, subcontracting, landscaping and other fields are scrambling to add staff to meet the growing demand. For employers turning to the immigration system for assistance, the ideal visa would be the H-2B temporary worker program. Created to help employers address temporary labor shortages for seasonal, peak need or one-time occurrences, the H-2B visa is an ideal fit for employers seeking short-term assistance for immediate labor needs.
In seeking an H-2B visa, employers are required to submit an Application for Temporary Labor Certification to the US Department of Labor, so as to ensure that the employer has made a good faith effort to recruit US workers. Only if no US workers can be identified can an employer seek foreign workers. This requires an employer to advertise locally through different media outlets and submit this advertising to the US Department of Labor for verification. If approved, then the employer can petition for specific individuals to be able to come to the United States for the time period requested. Employers can ask for varying periods for their workers to come to the United States, but must tie the period requested to a specific temporary need (i.e. seasonal construction need, etc.).
A key to successfully navigating the process is to plan ahead, as the number of available H-2B visas are limited into two visa "caps" that are available biannually (from October - March; April - September). Priority are given on a first-come, first-serve basis, so initiating the process early will help to ensure that workers are here when the need has arisen.
The H-2B process is very time intensive and is filled with many intricate rules that require compliance. However, if an employer has found foreign workers that can fill the jobs that US workers do not seek, then perhaps the H-2B visa is an ideal fit. For specific questions about the H-2B visa or any other visa categories, feel free to contact Brown Immigration Law at your convenience.