H2 visa group targets people willing to work temporarily in the US for a specified period of time, usually a few months. Though, in contrast to the H-2A visa, particularly made for temporary and seasonal agricultural workers, the H-2B visa is for temporary non-agricultural workers and does have a cap as well, being offered 66,000 visas per year.

More specifically, the H-2B visa was created to mitigate the scarcity of specialized workers in a particular working area, needing a higher number of candidates or temporary workers in resorts, construction, landscaping, hospitality, etc.

H-2B visa allows foreigners to stay in the US for up to one year, though the US employer can ask for an employee visa extension as long as he or she provides sufficient reasons. In fact, the H-2B visa can be extended twice, being three years the maximum time a foreigner can stay in the US under this visa. After this period, H-2B visa holders must return to their home country. However, they can apply again after three months. Be aware that as an H-2B visa holder you could also change status and obtain an H-2A visa or Green Card.



H-2B Application Process – Employees

After the employer has undertaken the necessary arrangements, H-2B employees can start applying for an H-2B visa. 

The first thing applicants need to do is gather the different documentation, which will be required to proceed with your application. We will refer to these documents later.

Continue by setting an interview at your local U.S. Embassy. During the interview, your candidature will be examined and you will obtain an answer whether your application gets approved or not. 

In case you are accepted, you can start planning your trip to the US. Be aware that you are only allowed to come to the US within the period set out in Form I-79.


Required Documents

  • Visa Forms:
  1. Form DS-160: online application form for US non-immigrant visa applicants. 
  2. Form DS-156
  3. Form DS-157 for males aged between 16 and 48.
  • Receipt proving that visa fees have been paid.
  • Valid passport.
  • Documents proving that the applicant plans to return home after visa validity such as a rental contract or a future job offer.
  • Job offer letter.
  • Proof that your employer has obtained visa sponsorship (Form I-797 and Form I-129 from USCIS).
  • A photo of the applicant meeting US visa photo guidelines. It must be submitted in digital format, so make sure you know the additional requirements for digital visa photos. You will find useful information in the following section.



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