The H2B visa is one option available to employers of foreign non-professionals.

As with other types of visas, the H2B may bring dependent family members to the U.S. Also, it is possible, in some cases, for employers to file blanket petitions, that is, one petition for several individual employees.



First, this visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. There are four situations where work is considered temporary in nature for H2B purposes:

  1.  Recurring seasonal need
  2. Intermittent need
  3. Peak-load need, and
  4. One time occurrence.

Note that this visa is not available for "temporary" agencies or other work placement agencies.

Second, the employer must establish that there are no unemployed U.S. workers willing or able to do the work. This is established through the states’ employment agency using a labor certification process. However, this process should not be confused with the labor certification process for permanent residency. The recruitment period here is only ten days and the recruitment efforts required are much less extensive.

EXAMPLE: Henry’s Nursery grows trees and bushes for sale. As they only needed help during the growing season, they did not have any year round employees to work in the nursery. Henry’s Nursery has been unable to attract seasonal workers. Juan, a man visiting from Guatemala said that he would be happy to work if a work visa could be arranged. He also said that he has many friends and family members in Guatemala that would like to work at the nursery. Mr. Henry contacted an immigration attorney who advised that, in this situation, it may be possible to obtain a work visa for both Juan and for as many other aliens as may be needed to work during the growing season.


Under current law, employers submitting Temporary Labor Certification are precluded from submitting Permanent Labor Certification for the same alien employee. Therefore, employees or their employers who believe they would be good candidates for Permanent Residency may instead consider applying directly for Labor Certification for Permanent Residency.