There is a lot of talk about immigrants these days, especially since President Trump won the election by promising to build a wall along the Mexican border and get tough on undocumented immigration. But what most people do not realize is that our country has a limited number of visas for foreign workers. In fact, there are only a specific amount of work permits granted every year!
There are two main visa types for employment in America: the F-1 student visa and the nonimmigrant worker (or green card) visa. The difference between these two is how long you want to be in this country while working. An employee with an F-1 visa can only stay here as short as six months after which they must return home. A nonimmigrant worker or green card holder can remain in the United States permanently if their job requires it.
A large portion of immigrant employees use the second type of visa, the nonimmigrant worker one. This includes professionals like doctors and lawyers who are able to work in the US under their own professional license. Many other professionals such as engineers and architects also have a way to stay in America if they already have their degree and are looking for a new position.
But why should we have a limit on how many foreigners we allow into our country? Why not just make more room in the system? Unfortunately, this isn’t possible because employers need access to skilled labor to keep their business running.
An employer may petition to bring an employee into the United States under the employment-based immigration program if they fall within one of the requirements set by law. The petitioner must show that there are no qualified workers available in the country or abroad who can do the job, and that hiring them is not likely to have an adverse effect on the workforce or the community.
The second part of this test is often referred to as the “American worker test." You will need to make sure that employers are able to find similarly skilled professionals in America before seeking approval to hire overseas.
If you are reading this article then it means that you already know some basic information about how the H2B visa system works! That is great, but what we really want to focus on here is making sure that your chances of success with these visas are the best possible.
That is why we are going to talk about some important points related to H2B visa employees. Read on to learn more about the different types of positions that qualify for the H2B visa classification, how many people work in each position, and some tips for being eligible for this visa.
The H2B visa program has been instrumental in filling temporary, non-agricultural job positions where U.S. workers are either unavailable or unwilling to take up such roles. This visa plays a crucial part in ensuring the uninterrupted running of many industries, especially during peak seasons. By hiring foreign workers, businesses can meet their labor demands and continue providing services to their customers. This is not only beneficial to individual businesses but also bolsters the economy as a whole. The influx of foreign workers ensures that the tourism, hospitality, and other seasonal industries continue to flourish and contribute significantly to the country's GDP.
However, this program is not without its checks and balances. The stringent requirements ensure that U.S. workers are not overlooked in favor of foreign employees, maintaining a balance between local and international workforce needs.
There are several ways to apply for a work visa under the H-2B program. Some employers may even be able to use you as an employee while your papers are being processed, making it more efficient.
Companies that hire seasonal workers often recruit directly through staffing agencies or professional employment recruitment services (PRETS). These companies take care of all the paperwork and applications for the visas so that you do not have to!
Some people begin their job search by going through these providers first before looking at hiring direct from the employer. This way they have already been vetted and professionals who handle such affairs for money will also check out the company you will be working for!
In both cases, make sure to follow all regulations. Do not share any personal information with anyone except the agency helping you find a position and the embassy in which you reside. You should also keep in touch with them periodically as part of your overall job searching process.
The second category of work visas is for professionals or skilled workers who will be employed in an occupation that requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and often a professional license as well. These jobs typically require job candidates to have at least a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, along with their employer confirming they have appropriate training and certification.
Because employers need to verify both employment AND education, it is very important to confirm that you have left the workplace! A lot of times employers may not check educational records until several months after someone has resigned, so make sure to monitor your email account back then as well.
The process of getting an H-2B work visa is not quick, nor easy. It can easily consume months or even years depending on how many employers need your help during those times.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues several types of visas for seasonal workers. These include the H-2A employer sponsored visa, the F-1 student visa, and the H-3 family member visa.
However, before you begin looking into job opportunities outside ofof America, make sure that you are fully prepared by checking if you have valid passports, proof of employment, health insurance, and other needed documents.
As mentioned earlier, your employer must have their paperwork in order before they are allowed to hire you. If this is not the case, then your work authorization may be revoked at any time!
As such, it is very important that you understand what actions will revoke your working visa for an individual or company. Unfortunately, employee misconduct is one of the biggest reasons why employers look into revoking visas.
Provide false information on your employment form is a big one- employees are required to complete their immigration forms truthfully and completely. Not only does it violate federal law, but it also looks bad on your job application which could hurt your chances of being hired elsewhere.
Other common causes of visa revocation include theft, fraud, and illegal activities like hiring undocumented workers. This list is by no means inclusive – just some examples of major offenses that will have serious repercussions.
While the primary aim of the H2B visa is to address labor shortages, it inadvertently fosters a cultural exchange between the U.S. and other countries. Foreign workers come with their unique traditions, languages, and experiences, enriching the American cultural mosaic. This mutual exchange of ideas and traditions fosters understanding and goodwill between nations. It's not just about filling job positions; it's about building bridges and creating a more inclusive society.
Employees under the H2B visa program often go back to their home countries with a broader perspective and a deeper appreciation of American culture and values. Similarly, U.S. employers and colleagues get a glimpse into the traditions and lifestyles of foreign lands. This cultural exchange is an unspoken but invaluable benefit of the H2B visa program.
Getting your work permit or employment visa cancelled can be quite devastating to your personal life as well as career plans.
Most employers require you to have proof that you will find another job soon, so it is important to do this ahead of time.
Some things like proving income and savings are more easily done than others such as paying off debt.
It is best to be prepared before going through immigration procedures so that you don’t waste any time finding these proofs afterward.
While some people choose to dress in very expensive or flashy clothes while working overseas, this is not recommended. You do not want to make an impression that you are too rich or have too much money to waste it on such frivolous things as clothing.
Clothing for work does not need to be expensive but cannot look cheap either. A nice pair of jeans and a long-sleeve shirt will always look good and professional. If you must show off your jewelry, keep it simple and tasteful.
Something important to remember about traveling with business attire is keeping your luggage light and easy to travel with! Most immigration offices require you to pack a small bag just in case they ask to see your documents or proof of employment.
Even though you will not be working directly with employers, your visa status as an employee of the company that employs you makes you still very much involved in the process to obtain employment. You must ensure that you are aware of what documents need to show proof of your job position and how these documents must be stored and organized while you are waiting for approval or denial.
It is important to remember that if you have too many copies of documents it can back up workloads for employees who help you with your paperwork and make things take longer. Only buy extra copies if necessary as this cost can add up quickly!
You do not have to pack all of your documentation at once but it is best to organize by employer, position, and/or location so that you do not waste time looking for something.