H-2B - Temporary Services

Temporary Visas

The H-2B visa is for individuals who will be performing temporary nonagricultural services or labor. Temporary services or labor refers to any job in which the need for the duties to be performed is temporary. The employer’s need for the services or labor should be a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peakload need or an intermittent need. While only a few H-2B Visas (66,000 per year) are issued each year, the visa is nonetheless useful. The H-2B visa enables U.S. businesses and agents to fill temporary needs for nonimmigrant workers. Many individuals unable to obtain an O or P Visa may apply for this visa.

The visa is not self-petitioned, which means you will need an employer to sponsor you. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are allowed to join you in the U.S. under the H-4 status. Dependents are not permitted to work, unless they personally qualify for a work visa.


The first step is to apply for a Temporary Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). You must meet all requirements of the DOL, and you must prove that there are no U.S. workers available for the proposed position. The employer must then attempt to recruit eligible U.S. individuals for the proposed positions. Once this recruitment process is over, the DOL will send the employer labor certification. The employer can then petition the USCIS for your H-2B Visa. After approval of this petition, you may apply at the consulate in your home country.


  • An approved temporary labor certification.
  • Proof of your qualifications for the position.
  • A letter detailing the nature of the position.
  • Proof of the temporary nature of the position.
  • A letter detailing the nature of the temporary need for foreign workers.