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The difference between H-1B and H-2B visas

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Employment Immigration |

Immigrants who wish to find a job in the United States have different options. U.S. immigration laws allow foreigners to apply for employment visas such as H-1B and H-2B visas. Each visa offers immigrants a different opportunity to gain employment in the U.S.

A look at how H-1B and H-2B visas differ from each other may help immigrants who want to find work in the U.S. figure out which kind of visa may best suit their situation.

How an H-1B visa works

According to the USCIS website, an H-1B visa allows businesses to hire foreign workers for specialty occupations. To take these jobs, immigrants should have certain qualifications. Some jobs require a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent to a high degree. Other jobs necessitate a degree appropriate for the job. Sometimes an immigrant does not need a degree but should have the knowledge to perform the duties of the job.

Just about any business who requires college degrees for its workers might apply for H-1B visas, though tech companies generally use them more often than other businesses. Non-profit organizations, government researchers and some medical providers also make use of these visas.

How an H-2B visa works

The USCIS explains that H-2B visas provide immigrants with temporary or seasonal, non-agricultural jobs. These visas give foreign workers the chance to perform jobs when there are not enough U.S. workers to fill them. These jobs may fill different needs, like to hire workers during a busy season, or to handle a one-time or intermittent need, or to expand the workforce for a peak time of productivity.

To acquire an H-2B visa, an employer must petition for an immigrant to come to the U.S. The work qualifications for an H-2B visa will differ across different jobs. This means an immigrant does not always require an education degree to be eligible for a job. Although these are temporary jobs, it may be possible to renew an H-2B visa in one year increments up to three years.

Employment visas can be complex matters

An H-1B or an H-2B visa may help an immigrant attain his or her dream of working in the United States, but the process can involve multiple parties such as the U.S. immigration authorities and the Department of Labor. Professional assistance may be necessary to understand all the steps involved.