If you need temporary staff but are struggling to get them in the local labor market, hiring from abroad might actually be a wonderful option. Not only are there numerous workers looking for job opportunities here, but there are all kinds of skill sets available. That means, no matter your industry, you can always find what you’re looking for in the vast global labor market.
However, several programs are accessible to employers seeking to recruit talent internationally. Among the most widely utilized ones is the H-2B program, which permits non-agricultural job seekers from a list of countries to work in America.
Now, the H2B visa program doesn’t run forever. There’s a limit to how long a holder can stay and work on US soil at a time. Generally, it’s valid for a year but may be extended for another year, for a total of three years.
So, what are the other laws and rules regarding this visa?
The Employer Must Show That the Skills They Need Are Not Available Locally
While the H2B visa covers several industries, there’s a caveat: the qualification or skill set you are looking for must not be readily available in the domestic market. Basically, the employer has to show that they couldn’t find enough of the labor needed locally, hence the desire to look abroad.
The Foreign Worker Must Have the Qualifications/ Skill Needed
On top of demonstrating an inability of the domestic market to meet your labor needs, you must hire foreigners with the skills you’re looking for. So, the worker’s qualifications and skills must be relevant for the job in question.
The Opportunity Must Be Temporary or One-Time
Remember, this visa is a temporary work visa. That means the opportunity for which you’re hiring must be temporary or a short-lived, one-time thing, typically caused by seasonal or intermittent fluctuations in the workload.
The Wages Offered Must be At Least Equal to the Standard Wages
The US Department of Labor’s job includes protecting domestic workers’ working conditions and wages. So, as an employer applying for the H2B visa, you must prove that you intend to provide pay equal to or more than the highest prevailing wage or federal/ state minimum wage for the job in the industry.
The Employee Must Intend to Return Home After Visa Expiry
While the H2B visa grants foreigners access to the country and permits them to work for the period granted, it doesn’t lead to permanent residency. So, the visa holder must intend to return to their home country once the work period is over. And they must demonstrate this.
Get an Experienced Lawyer to Help You Comply with the H2B Visa Program Laws
The H2B visa is the fastest way to get foreign workers to meet your seasonal demands for labor. However, there are laws the employer and prospective employee must stick to, to get the visa. Getting a lawyer to help you meet all requirements and comply with all the rules is the best decision you can make if you want your visa application to go through the first time.