Select Page

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues different temporary work visas based on the applicant’s eligibility, skills, education, and goals. Many people tend to confuse between H1B and H-2B visas, but they are not the same. 

In this article, you will discover the difference between H-1B and H-2B visas.  

H-1B and H-2B Visa – Explaining the H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa 

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant classification applied to foreign individuals seeking to enter the United States to perform: 

  • Services in a specialty occupation (professions requiring a university degree or its equivalent in training and experience) 
  • Services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or 
  • Services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability 

The H-1B category is divided into three distinct subcategories – the H-1B Specialty Occupations visa, the H-1B2 DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker visa, and the H-1B3 Fashion Model visa. 

A US employer must apply on behalf of a prospective worker by filing Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker). When applying with USCIS, employers must also submit Form ETA-9035/9035E, Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the US Department of Labor (DOL).  

Please note that petitioners of prospective H-1B2 visa holders are not required to submit a DOL certification. With few exceptions, the total period of stay cannot go beyond six years (including the extensions). 

The H-1B nonimmigrant classification has an annual numerical limit (cap) of 65,000 visas per fiscal year. USCIS has exemptions for specific H-1B applications. Consult with an expert immigration attorney to determine whether an exemption applies to your case. 

H-1B Visa vs. H-2B Visa – Explaining the H-2B Temporary Agricultural Visa  

The H-2A visa program helps US farmers and agriculture firms bring foreign workers to fill temporary or seasonal employment gaps. A US employer, an authorized agent, or an association of US agricultural producers must apply on a prospective worker’s behalf. 

The first step is to file Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and submit a valid temporary labor certification issued by the US Department of Labor (DOL). To qualify for the H-2A program, US petitioners must: 

  • Present a job offer of temporary or seasonal nature 
  • Demonstrate that not sufficient US workers are able, willing, qualified, and available to fill the temporary or seasonal employment gap 
  • Demonstrate that the employment of H-2A workers will not negatively impact the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers 

USCIS may approve only H-2A petitions of nationals of eligible countries. Every year, the Secretary of Homeland Security designates the annual list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A program. 

The list of H-2A eligible countries is published in a Federal Register notice. After publication, the list is valid for one year (counting from the publication date). The H-2A visa program has no annual numerical limit (cap) of visas issued per year.  

Do You Want to Identify Whether the H-1B or H-2B Visa is the Best Option for You? – Contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today  

Get in touch with Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for an individual assessment. 

Loading...