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H-2B Visas

Attorneys Work to Obtain H-2B Visas for Temporary Foreign Workers

New York advocates helps applicants and sponsors navigate the legal process

The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers in non-agricultural industries. Authorization is for a limited amount of time, often to meet seasonal need, peak-load need or intermittent need, generally for up to nine months. If you are an employer who needs such workers, the immigration attorneys at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP in New York City are ready to help. Since the 1980s, our immigration department, under the leadership of Conrad E. Pollack, has provided determined advocacy for employers and workers. We know the frustrations our clients experience when dealing with the complex and impersonal bureaucracy. Our knowledgeable lawyers help you navigate the visa system effectively in order to meet your goals.

Immigration lawyers advise employers on H2-B visa standards

Employers who have a seasonal or short-term demand for labor that cannot be met domestically can file an Application for Temporary Employment Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. In doing so, the employer promises that its H-2B visa workers (and non-visa workers doing substantially the same work) will meet several requirements, including:

  • Pay that meets or exceeds the highest of the federal, state or local minimum wage, for all hours worked during the entire period of the job order.
  • Workers paid on piece-rates, commissions, bonuses, or other incentives, shall receive a guaranteed wage every workweek that meets or exceeds the offered wage.
  • Working conditions must be comparable to those offered American workers.
  • The employer must make all deductions from workers’ paychecks required by law. Additional deductions must be reasonable and must be disclosed in the filing.
  • The bona fide job opportunity must be for at least 35 hours per workweek and at least 75 percent of the work hours in a 12-week period, known as the “three-fourths guarantee.”
  • Employers must provide workers with all tools, equipment and materials for the job without cost.
  • Employers must respect the labor rights of H-2B visa workers under the regulations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor.
  • Employers cannot accept payments from workers in exchange for providing H-2B visas.

The employer is required to keep accurate records of workers’ earnings, hours of work offered and hours actually worked. As for visa expenses, the employer is required to pay for visa, border crossing and visa-related expenses for their H-2B workers, by advance payment individually, direct payment to service providers or reimbursement during the first workweek. Under certain circumstances, employers may be required to pay daily commuting costs for the first workweek. Employers are also required to pay return transportation and subsistence costs after the completion of the work period.

Established firm assists H-2B applicants and businesses seeking to recruit and hire them

As for the hiring and recruitment of workers on H-2B visas, employers must:

  • Forbid any recruiter from accepting remuneration from a prospective hire.
  • First offer the job opportunity to any qualified U.S. worker.
  • Refrain from locking out or laying off any similarly employed U.S. worker.

Foreign employees must understand that H-2B visas are not for immigration purposes. To apply, they must:

  • Have a job offer from a U.S. employer to do temporary work.
  • Have the appropriate background, experience, skills and ability to perform the job.
  • Intend to leave the U.S. before the expiration date on the visa.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is charged with oversight of all H2-B applications.

The H2-B visa application process

If an employer cannot find U.S. workers to fill positions, the employer may begin the H-2B application process by requesting a temporary labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor and filing Form I-129 with the original temporary labor certification to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. From there, prospective workers outside of the U.S. must apply for a visa and/or admission with the U.S. Department of State or at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Once approved, they can come into this country through a port of entry. To learn more about the H-2B visa application process, consider contacting an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer in New York who has helped thousands of employers and workers prepare all of the necessary paperwork.

Contact our New York City immigration attorneys for assistance with H-2B visas

Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP in New York City assists businesses and workers with requirements for the H-2B visa program. If your U.S. business is facing staffing shortages during peak seasonal demand, speak to an immigration lawyer with experience guiding applications successfully through the complex process. Call us today at 800-223-2814 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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