How does a temporary work visa work and how to obtain it?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers various categories of visas for foreign workers, including temporary work visas.

Foreign citizens have the ability to enter the United States through a temporary or nonimmigrant visa. Temporary worker visas are ideal for people seeking to enter the United States to work for a temporary and non-permanent period. For example, the H-2 visa program for temporary workers.

This visa program is divided into two categories: H-2A for agricultural workers and H-2B for non-agricultural workers (gardening and landscaping, forestry work, cooking, among others).

To apply to one of these two categories, it is necessary for employers to make an initial application to the Department of Labor, through form I-129, petition for nonimmigrant workers. In other words, foreign workers cannot apply by themselves, since they need to establish contact with their potential employer beforehand.

In this way, the first step should be to search and find an available vacancy. It is also important to review the dates that the employer requires workers and the type of visa that is required depending on the type of work.

After completing the I-129 form process, workers are required to make an appointment at a US embassy or consulate in their country of residence. To get your visa. At the appointment you must present your visa application, valid passport and petition number. The cost of applying for both visas is $190 in 2022.

Regarding the duration of the visa, both classifications provide a period of up to one year, however, the H-2B can be renewed up to a maximum of three years by requesting various extensions.

Another benefit of these programs is that employers cover housing for their temporary workers for as long as they remain employed. In addition, the employer must comply with certain rules regarding the wages of its temporary foreign employees. Which must be higher than the local prevailing wage which is determined by the DOL; the state or federal minimum wage; the average salary of field workers and ranchers.

Learn more at the following links:

H-2A: https://www.uscis.gov/es/trabajar-en-los-estados-unidos/trabajadores-temporales-no-inmigrantes/trabajadores-agricolas-temporales-h-2a

H-2B: https://www.uscis.gov/es/trabajar-en-estados-unidos/trabajadores-temporales-no-inmigrantes/trabajadores-temporales-no-agricola-h-2b

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