Filing an H-2B visa has a specific protocol which differentiates it from other visas such as the H-2A visa. It is important to follow the guidelines decided by USCIS. This page will teach you exactly how to file an H-2A visa along with the necessary documentation for an H-2A visa case.


Filing an H-2B visa – step one

An employer wishing to hire foreign workers must first submit a Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, using Form I-129, to the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. The employer will receive Form I-797, a notice of approval, once the application has been approved.

H-2B visa application required documents

Foreign workers outside of the United States must apply for visas from a U.S. embassy or consulate within their own countries. The full H-2B visa application pack must include:

  • An Application for Non-immigrant Visa: DS-156
  • Males aged 16 to 45 must submit DS-157
  • A current passport
  • A passport appropriate photograph
  • A valid copy of Notice of Approval for the H-2B Petition
  • Proof of ties to country of abode: this can include family, property or business
  • Filing fees

Foreign workers who are already in the United States need not apply for visas. However, if they leave the U.S. and decide to re-enter at a later date, they may have to apply for visas.

It must be stated that a visa does not confer guaranteed and automatic entry into the U.S. Visa holders may be denied entry to the country at the point of arrival by an immigration officer. When entry is granted, the immigration official will determine how long the temporary worker can remain in the U.S. The visa holder will be issued with Form I-94, a Record of Arrival-Departure, showing how long he or she is permitted to remain in the United States.

H-2B visa processing times

Employers must allow sufficient time for the proper processing of the petition. They can file petitions up to six months prior to the start of the employment, but no less than 45 days before the start date. It is possible for employers to petition for several workers at any one time. In such an instance, an employer files a blanket petition that covers numerous employees.

Holders of H-2B visas may be accompanied by their spouses and any unmarried children below the age of 21. They are issued H-4 visas, and are allowed to remain in the United States for the same duration as the H-2B visa holder. The H-4 visa holders are not authorized to undertake employment in the United States.

Are you seeking an H-2B visa?

Are you considering pursuing an H-2B visa for yourself or a potential employee? Let KPPB Law help. Our experienced staff knows just how to guide you through the application process, ensuring the best possible results for your H-2B visa case. We hope we can help you. Please contact us by calling 703-594-4040 or fill out our online form today. Inquiries are always welcome!

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