H-2B Visa for Temporary Skilled or Unskilled Workers

H-2B visa is issued to those who will come to the U.S. to work on a temporary basis in skilled or unskilled nonagricultural position. The employment of such worker must be one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, or an intermittent need, such as entertainment company needs actors or performers for producing movies or special music festivals; establishing new production line, and expansion of business need workers with special skills, seasonal sport activities need instructors, etc. Employers should demonstrate that no U.S. workers capable of performing such service /labor are available in the U.S.

The employer must apply Temporary Labor Certification (TLC) from the Department of Labor (DOL). When the TLC is approved, the employer will file the H-2B petition together with the TLC with INS.? Because of the temporary nature and urgent need of such worker, both the DOL and INS process this category at a rather faster pace.


Terms of Stay and Extension. H-2B visa can be issued for a period up to one year. Extension of one year can be obtained each time, up to a maximum period of three years.

Family Members (spouse/children). They can accompany or follow to join the H-2B worker with H-4 visa. They cannot work without authorization.

Countries eligible for H-2B visa: Only citizens of countries designated by USCIS are eligible for H-2B visa. As of 01/2016, H-2B visa eligible counties are as follows:


Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (region) , Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu,

*The list of H-2B eligible countries is subject to change by the USCIS.