U.S. employers may petition for skilled or unskilled alien workers to meet temporary or seasonal needs in positions for which qualified U.S. workers are not available. It is important to note that both the services for which the employer requests H-2 labor approval and the employer’s need for such services must be temporary.
There is currently an annual cap of 66,000 visas for H-2B nonagricultural workers. There is no annual cap on visas for H-2A agricultural workers.
The first step to hiring an H-2 worker from outside the U.S. is for the employer to apply for a temporary labor certification with the Department of Labor. These certificates are designed to assure that the admission of aliens to work in this country on a temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, or working conditions of U.S. workers. The employer is required to file the labor certification with the I-129 petition.