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Working in the US: Understanding the H Visa

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2019 | Blog

The term “H Visa” can be used to refer to several different types of visas, but it most often refers to the H-1B and H-2B visas, which allow employers in the United States to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. These are also called “temporary worker visas.”

H-1B Visas

H-1B visas are for the following types of people who want to work on a temporary basis in the United States in “specialty occupations”:

  • Individuals with higher education degrees
  • Fashion models of distinguished merit
  • Those involved in government-to-government research and development
  • Those involved in co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense

The application deadline for H-1B visas to work in businesses occurs every year in April. Only 85,000 people per year are allowed to receive H-1B visas to work in business. However, there is no quota, cap, or lottery for H-1B visas to work in non-profits or universities. 

H-2B Visas

H-2B visas are for less specialized employees, who intend to work in sectors other than agriculture (those who want to work in agriculture would seek an H-2A visa). Only those from a select list of countries can apply for H-2B visas. 

When petitioning for an H-2B visa, you must prove that there are not enough US workers available to do the work you will be doing. You must prove that your employment will not negatively impact the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers who are doing similar work. You also must prove that you will only be employed temporarily. The maximum amount of time that you can stay in the United States with a H-2B visa is 3 years. 

Acquiring an H Visa

In order for you to obtain an H visa, your prospective employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will be able to apply only after their petition is approved.

If you have questions about visas or the petitioning and application processes, the attorneys at Villegas Law Office, PLLC can help. We are a bilingual immigration law firm in Texas. Contact us to find out how we can help you.