H2B Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

11. What are the requirements for H-2B visa holder?

To qualify for H-2B visa, you must:

  1. Have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer to perform temporary or seasonal nonagricultural work
  2. Show proof of an intent to return to your home country on expiration of the visa

Note: H-2B certification is issued to the employer, not the worker, is not transferable from one employer to another or from one worker to another. Certification is issued only for a specific job opportunity, for a specific number of workers, and for a specific employment period.


12. How long can I stay in the U.S. on H2B visa?

The H-2B Labor Certification application is valid for the period of employment indicated on the Form ETA-750A. However, the validity period may not exceed one year. You may stay for two more years with two one year increments. With initial one year and two one year extensions you can stay for three years on this visa.

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13. Can I stay longer than a year on H-2B visa?

The employer’s need may generally be only for one year. However, the need, under the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ provision, may ultimately be longer than one year if the extended need could not be anticipated at the time of application.

Note: An example might be the case of a hurricane that destroyed a large bridge. It will take 11 months to replace the bridge. After the application is approved for this ‘one time’ occurrence, the employer demonstrates that the work cannot be completed in 11 months based on circumstances which did not exist at the time the employer first petitioned for the foreign national. The work will now take 14 months. The employer would file another application for the three additional months.


14. Can I extend my stay on H-2B visa?

Yes, you may apply for Extension of Stay on H-2B visa. The employer may apply for re-certification for an additional two years with one year extensions, but on each new application, the employer must justify the reason for the H-2B extension request. You may also extend by changing to a new employer who had completed the temporary labor certification.


15. Can I change status on H-2B?

Yes, you may apply for change of status on H-2B visa. If you are changing the job or employer (like H-2B to H-2A), have your new employer file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker at the USCIS Regional Service Center with jurisdiction over your residence.

Note: H-2B certification is issued to the employer, not the worker, is not transferable from one employer to another or from one worker to another. Certification is issued only for a specific job opportunity, for a specific number of workers, and for a specific employment period.