H—2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers:

The H-2B nonimmigrant visa allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. Jobs typically under this visa program are unskilled; thus are suitable for Bar/Restaurant/Construction workers within the United States.

The H-2B visa does not require the employee to have a degree/qualification or work experience. You can apply for this visa while either inside or outside the U.S.

If you are currently in the U.S. under an Irish J-1 visa (IWT), you are permitted to change status to an H-2B without having to depart the U.S.

Only certain countries are eligible for the H-2B visa – IRELAND is an eligible country.

You can get a maximum period of three years under the H-2B. The H-2B visa may be extended for qualifying employment, in increments of up to one (1) year, for a total of three (3) years.

The initial H-2B petition will be capped. This means that there are only 66,000 of these visas given each year (in the past couple of years, with the economic downturn, these numbers are being reached more slowly). When you are renewing your H-2B visa (2nd/3rd year) it is NOT capped (therefore no limitations).

The steps involved in this type of petition will be handled by my Immigration Law Practice; in summary they are:

1. Employer submits temporary labor certification (typically takes 30 days to process). This is made to the Department of Labor. It essentially establishes the employers need for the prospective worker’s services or labor, and that the need is temporary. The employer must demonstrate that H-2B workers will not displace U.S. workers or adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

2. We submit the application forms and supporting documents on behalf of the employer to U.S. immigration services; after the above mentioned labor certification application is approved by the Department of Labor.

3. If you are inside the U.S. you will be changing your status to the H-2B once approved. If you are outside the U.S. once the H-2B is approved then you apply at the U.S. Consulate in Ireland for visa and/or admission.

If you are in the U.S. without any lawful status, then contact my office to see whether we can file a NUNC PRO TUNC visa. If approved, this will put you back in lawful status.

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