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Addressing temporary workforce needs through H-2 visas

Temporary workforce needs can arise for many different types of businesses here in California. Sometimes, the U.S. labor market isn’t able to meet these needs. When this happens, one thing a business may look into for filling these positions is bringing in workers from other countries.

One way such workers can enter the country is through H-2 visas. This class of visa is for foreign workers in temporary positions. There are two main types of H-2 visa. One is the H-2A visa, which covers agricultural workers. The other is the H-2B visa, which covers non-agricultural workers.

There are various rules that it can be important for an employer to take into account when seeking H-2A or H-2B visas for foreign workers they wish to hire for temporary positions here in America. This includes:

  • The rules on the process of seeking H-2 classification for workers they wish to hire.
  • The qualification requirements for H-2 status.
  • The rules regarding how long a worker can have H-2 status. The max stay a temporary worker can have in the U.S. on H-2 status is three years.
  • The qualifying country rules. Generally, H-2 visas are only available for workers from certain qualifying countries (though there are exceptions to this).

When a California business is seeking to use H-2 visas to fill temporary workforce needs, how immigration matters related to the pursuit of such visas end up going could have major impacts on the business. Skilled immigration attorneys can provide such companies with information on the rules of the particular type of H-2 visa they are looking at and guidance throughout the process of pursuing H-2 status for foreign workers.

Sources: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers,” Accessed March 10, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers,” Accessed March 10, 2017

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
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