The H-2B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. Many businesses in New York rely on the H-2B program to staff up during their peak seasons. This article will cover the basics of H-2B visas, top industries for H-2B jobs in New York, H-2B Visa Sponsorship jobs in New York, and tips for finding employers willing to sponsor H-2B visas.
What is an H-2B visa?
The H-2B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to fill jobs that have a one-time, seasonal, peak load, or intermittent need. The visa is initially valid for the duration of the temporary job (up to 3 years max) but can be extended in certain cases.
H-2B visa requirements
There are requirements for both the employer and the prospective employee when it comes to H-2B visas.
- Demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers qualified and available to do the temporary work
- Show that the hiring of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
- Obtain a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor
- File an I-129 petition with USCIS
Prospective H-2B workers must:
- Be a national of a qualifying country
- Have a job offer for a temporary position from a U.S. employer
- Demonstrate they meet the qualifications for the job
- Obtain an H-2B visa from a U.S. consulate abroad
- Pay all required fees
H-2B visa process
Obtaining an H-2B visa involves the following steps:
Employer files a temporary labor certification
First, the employer must obtain a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor confirming there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the job.
Employer files I-129 petition
Once they get labor certification, the employer submits an I-129 petition and supporting docs to USCIS requesting permission to hire foreign workers.
Employee applies for a visa
If the I-129 is approved, prospective H-2B workers can apply for their H-2B visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
The employee enters the U.S.
With a visa in hand, the H-2B worker can enter the U.S. to start their temporary job during the approved validity period.
H-2B jobs in New York
Some of the top industries for H-2B visas in New York include:
Landscaping and groundskeeping
Resorts, golf courses, and parks departments often hire H-2B workers for seasonal landscaping and groundskeeper roles. Experience with lawn maintenance, tree trimming, etc. is valued.
The busy New York construction industry relies on H-2B workers to meet labor demands. Carpenters, electricians, and general laborers are common roles.
Hotels and amusement parks in New York frequently hire H-2B workers as housekeepers, servers, cooks, and other hospitality positions.
New York’s seafood processing industry brings in H-2B workers for the busy fall and winter seasons. Experience deboning fish is a plus.
Finding H-2B Visa Sponsorship Jobs in New York
If you’re interested in finding an H-2B job in New York, here are some ideas:
Staffing and recruiting agencies
Many staffing agencies recruit and place H-2B workers. Checking with ones that specialize in hospitality, landscaping, or construction is a good start.
Directly contacting employers
You can search for companies in your desired industry in New York and inquire directly about their H-2B needs. Make sure to highlight your relevant experience.
Checking job boards
Tips For Getting H-2B Visa Sponsorship Jobs in New York
To boost your chances of getting hired for H-2B jobs in New York, keep these tips in mind:
Have relevant experience
Employers are required to show your qualifications for the role, so the more related experience you have the better. Highlight this in your application.
Be flexible on location
Being willing to work anywhere in the state (not just in New York City) will open up more possibilities. Research where the jobs are before applying.
Consider seasonal opportunities
Due to the temporary nature of H-2B visas, these roles tend to be seasonal. Be open to short-term jobs like summer resort work.
Highlight transferable skills
Even if you don’t have direct experience in a field, focus on skills from other jobs that translate, like customer service, teamwork, etc.
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The H-2B visa program offers the chance for foreign nationals to gain temporary work in the U.S. New York employers in landscaping, construction, hospitality, and more often hire H-2B workers during peak seasons. Doing your research, highlighting relevant skills, and following the proper procedures can help land you an H-2B job opportunity in New York. Just remember these visas are time-limited, so always follow the rules to maintain your status. With the right preparation, an H-2B job can provide a rewarding experience as well as valuable skills to boost your future career.
What are common H-2B job titles in New York?
Some common H-2B job titles in New York include landscaper, construction laborer, server, line cook, housekeeper, amusement park attendant, seafood processor, and more.
How long can you stay with an H-2B visa?
The initial maximum duration of an H-2B visa is 3 years, but extensions are possible in certain situations if more time is needed to complete the temporary job.
What does the employer have to provide as part of H-2B sponsorship?
The employer must pay for round-trip transportation and housing costs as well as provide a prevailing wage that’s fair and consistent with that of similarly employed U.S. workers.
Can my family come with me on an H-2B visa?
No, spouses and children cannot accompany H-2B workers – the visa is solely for the individual worker.
Can I apply for a green card after getting an H-2B visa?
No, the H-2B is a non-immigrant visa so it does not provide a direct path to permanent residency or a green card. You must return home after completing the temporary work