June 22, 2020 update: President Trump temporarily suspended several new work visas, including H-1B visas. Read the New York Times article.
Nevada employers may recruit foreign seasonal workers by sponsoring them through H-2B visas. These are non-immigrant visas meant for skilled or unskilled non-agricultural workers. Eligible H-2B visa-holders must (1) have a job offer to take a position for which there is a shortage of U.S. workers, and (2) intend to leave after the U.S. the employment ends.
Below our Las Vegas “H-2B Visa” attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about temporary work visas in Nevada. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.
- 1. Can I get an H-2B visa in Las Vegas, NV?
- 2. How do I get an H-2B visa?
- 3. How long does it take to get an H-2B visa?
- 4. How long is an H-2B visa good for?
- 5. How much does it cost to get an H-2B visa?
- 6. Can my family come with me on an H-2B visa in Las Vegas, NV?
- 7. Can I leave the U.S. while on an H-2B visa?
- 8. What if I quit or get fired from my job while on an H-2B visa?
For information on other work visa options in Nevada, see our article on employment visas.
In order for a foreigner to qualify for an H-2B visa, all of the following conditions must be true:
- The employer must have a need which is either seasonal, one-time, intermittent, or peak load.
- The job is not agricultural.
- There must be no qualified and willing U.S. citizens available for the job.
- The job must last less than one (1) year.
- The foreigner must have a job offer from the U.S. employer.
- The foreigner must have the correct experience and skills for the employment.
- The foreigner must have the intention to return home prior to the visa’s expiration date.
Typical H-2B visa jobs in Nevada include camp counselors, entertainers, and home attendants for ill patients.
H-2B visas versus other employment visas
H-2B visas have lower threshold requirements than EB-1 visas and EB-2 visas, which are meant for foreigners with advanced degrees and/or world renown in their fields. H-2B visas have similar prerequisites to EB-3 visas, except EB-3 visas extend green card status, and H-2B visas are strictly for non-immigrants. And unlike H-1B visas, which last for three (3) to six (6) years and can potentially result in lawful permanent residence, H-2B visas are good for only one (1) to three (3) years.
In Nevada, the employer first applies for a temporary labor certification from Nevada Job Connect, which then transfers the case to the Department of Labor. If the employer receives the labor certification, the employer then files an I-129 Form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If the foreigner is already legally in the U.S. once the I-129 Form get approved, the foreigner automatically gets H-2B visa status and can start work. Otherwise, the foreigner will receive instructions for applying for an H-2B visa. The application process will probably require that the foreigner submit to a visa interview at his/her local U.S. consulate as well as giving biometrics (fingerprints).
The time frame for getting an H-2B visa varies from two (2) to six (6) months.
Initially, H-2B visas are valid for one (1) year. But if the employer can show that it needs the foreigner for longer, the visa may be able to be extended in year increments. H-2B visas expire completely after three (3) years.
The H-2B visa fee is $190.
Yes, the husband/wife and unmarried children under 21 of an H-2B visa-holder can live in the U.S. for the duration of the visa. But they have to apply for an employment visa if they wish to work while in the U.S.
Usually yes, but gaining reentry is not a sure thing. H-2B visa holders are advised to keep all their visa documents and passport with them when they return to the U.S. to show Customs and Borders Protection.
H-2B visa-holders will have to leave the U.S. if they lose their job.
Call a Nevada immigration attorney…
If you are seeking an employment visa in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas immigration law attorneys to schedule a meeting. We will guide you through the process to maximize your chances or working in the U.S.