Best Practices for H-2B Visa Success
The race is on! The next available start date for H-2B workers to begin work in the United States is April 1, 2023. U.S. employers who seek to have foreign nationals begin work in spring should begin the H-2B process as soon as possible but no later than November 30th. Best practices encourage U.S. companies or households to have hired a “seasoned” Immigration lawyer on or before this date as visa availability can change rapidly necessitating an alternate immigration strategy.
For a variety of reasons, U.S. companies and households are often unable to find U.S. workers qualified and able to fill professional, skilled and unskilled positions. The inability to find workers timely can devastate a company or a family. Reasons for this employment gap in hiring may be a result of the following:
- Success in U.S. employer acquiring new contracts where additional workers are needed immediately
- Spike in customers during certain seasons and difficulty scaling employment accordingly
- Massive resignations due to pandemics, disasters causing a serious shortage as a company or family tries to rebound.
- Skillset needed that is not commonly found in the United States work pool.
- American workers’ traditional non-interest in certain jobs or industries.
H-2B temporary workers are not limited to corporations or businesses. U.S. households are also eligible to hire temporary workers on the H-2B visa program. Cooks, nannies, butlers, housekeepers, grounds keepers and the like are challenging for families to hire.
Best Practices Tips
To achieve success in hiring H-2B temporary workers, we provide the following tips to discuss with a U.S. immigration lawyer:
- Determine if you have a one-time need, seasonal need or intermittent need for temporary worker(s).
- Collect documents and information that has resulted in the need to hire foreign nationals temporarily. Document with Contracts, Organizational charts, Payroll records reflecting trends and shortages, medical records and other information that gave rise to temporary need.
- Since H-2B visas are limited by the yearly congressional cap, determine how many workers you need and for what positions ASAP. Do not wait to find the workers before beginning the process with an immigration attorney. The priority is securing the temporary work visa(s).
- Be careful using recruitment companies without first checking with an immigration lawyer. There are risks and disclosures that should be considered before hiring a recruitment company.
- Have your immigration lawyer file a Prevailing Wage Determination (“PWD”) with the Department of Labor (“DOL”) as the first step in the H-2B process. As a practical point, U.S. employers need to know what the U.S. government mandates as the wage for the temporary worker(s).
We hope you found these tips helpful. Our lawyers are accepting new H-2B cases for the upcoming new season in 2023. If you are interested in hiring one or several H-2B visa workers for the first part of 2023 please contact us prior to November 30th . Our lawyers are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association- AILA, and we have over 25 years of experience. Based in the Washington D.C. area, we serve clients throughout the United States and internationally.