US Visa Jamaica

US Visa Jamaica - H2B Visa Jamaica

The H2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows US employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

To qualify for H2B labor visa:

  • The employer must establish that its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as permanent or temporary.  The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need, or an intermittent need;
  • The employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient US workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work;
  • The employer must show that the employment of H2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers; and
  • Generally, a single, valid temporary labor certification from the US Department of Labor (DOL), or, in the case where the workers will be employed on Guam, from the Governor of Guam, must be submitted with the H2B petition.  (Exception:  An employer is not required to submit a temporary labor certification with its petition if it is requesting H2B employment in a position for which the DOL does not require the filing of a temporary labor certification application)

There is a statutory numerical limit, or “cap,” on the total number aliens who may be provided H2B labor visa during a fiscal year. 

Once the H2B cap is reached, USCIS may only accept petitions for H2B workers who are exempt from the H2B cap.  For additional information on the current H2B cap, see the “Cap Count for H2B Non-immigrants” link to the right or go to it directly at www.uscis.gov/h-2b_count

H2B Program Process

  • Step 1:  Employer Submits Temporary Labor Certification Application to the Department of Labor.  Prior to requesting H2B classification from USCIS, the employer must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H2B workers with the US Department of Labor (or Guam Department of Labor if the employment will be in Guam).*  For further information regarding the temporary labor certification application requirements and process, see the "Foreign Labor Certification, Department of Labor" and “Foreign Labor Certification, Guam Department of Labor” links to the right
  • Step 2:  Employer Submits Form I-129 to USCIS.  After receiving a temporary labor certification for H2B employment from either the US Department of Labor or Guam Department of Labor (if applicable), the employer should file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, with USCIS requesting H2B workers.  The approved temporary labor certification must be submitted with the Form I-129.  (See the instructions to the Form I-129 for additional filing requirements)
  • Step 3:  Prospective Workers Outside the United States Apply for Visa and/or Admission.  After an employer’s Form I-129 is approved by USCIS, prospective H2B workers who are outside the United States may apply with the US Department of State at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad for an H2B visa (if a visa is required) and, regardless of whether a visa is required, apply to US Customs and Border Protection for admission to the United States in H2B classification

* Note: Employers requesting employment in a position that is exempt from the US Department of Labor’s temporary labor certification application filing requirement may skip Step 1 in the H2B process.

H2B petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, as eligible to participate in the H2B program*.

The list of H2B eligible countries is published in a notice in the Federal Register (FR) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a rolling basis.  Designation of countries on the H2B list of eligible countries will be valid for one year from publication. 

Effective Jan. 18, 2011, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B programs:   Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Jamaica, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.  Of these countries, the following were designated for the first time this year:  Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

* A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H2B petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the US interest for that alien to be the beneficiary of such a petition.  [See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(iii) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(2) for additional evidentiary requirements.] 

Generally, USCIS may grant H2B classification for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification (usually authorized for no longer than one (1) year).  H2B classification may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to one (1) year. The maximum period of stay in H2B classification is three (3) years.

An individual who has held H2B non-immigrant status for a total of three (3) years is required to depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three (3) months before seeking readmission as an H2B non-immigrant.  See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(13)(iv) for further details on departure requirements.

Any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an H2B worker may seek admission in H4 non-immigrant classification.  Family members in H4 non-immigrant classification may not engage in employment in the United States.

Petitioners of H2B workers must notify USCIS within 2 workdays if an H2B worker is a:

  • No show - An alien who fails to report to work within 5 work days of the employment start date on the H2B petition
  • Absconder - An alien who fails to report for work for a period of 5 consecutive workdays without the consent of the employer
  • Termination - An alien who was terminated prior to the completion of agricultural labor or services for which he/she was hired; or
  • Early Completion - An alien who completes the H2B labor or services for which he/she was hired more than 30 days early.

As stated in a notice published by DHS in the federal register on December 19, 2008, petitioners must include the following information in their Employment-Related notification:

  1. The reason for the notification (for example, explain that the worker was either a “no show,” “absconder,” “termination,” or “early completion”)
  2. The reason for untimely notification and evidence for good cause, if applicable
  3. The USCIS receipt number of the approved H2B petition
  4. The petitioner’s information
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number 
    • Employer identification number (EIN)
  5. The employer’s information (if different from that of the petitioner):
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
  6. The H2B worker’s information:
    • Full Name
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Last known physical address & telephone number

Additionally to assist USCIS with identification of the H2B worker, USCIS requests that, if available, petitioners also submit each H2B worker’s:

  • Social Security Number, and
  • Visa Number