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If you are from these countries, you can apply for H-2A and H-2B visas

If you are from these countries, you can apply for H-2A and H-2B visas

(CNN Español) – To work legally in the United States, you do not need to be a professional or have sufficient experience in a particular field. All you need to do is work using the thousands of temporary work visas the country offers for agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Visas H-2A y H-2B.

Here is the good news.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Wednesday Updated list From countries eligible for this type of visa, “Nationals eligible to participate in the programs.” That is, if you first belong to one of the following countries on the list, you can apply for these visas to work in fiscal year 2022.

“The H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring in foreign nationals to fill vacancies in agricultural and non-agricultural jobs,” USCIS said in a statement Tuesday.

As of this Wednesday, citizens of these Latin American countries (as well as those from other parts of the world) are eligible to apply for H-2A and H-2B visas.

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Savior
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay (citizens of this country are eligible to participate in the H-2A program, but not in the H-2B program)
  • Peru
  • Dominican Republic
  • Uruguay

To see the rest of the world, You can see the list here.

What are H-2 visas?

Each year, thousands of H-2 visas are issued to workers (non-professionals and non-graduates) with or without experience working temporarily in the United States. This category is divided into two types of visas: H-2A for agricultural workers and H-2B for non-agricultural workers.

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By 2020, the United States had issued a total of 65,716 H-2B visas, mostly occupied by gardeners, forest workers and butchers.

Citizens of countries with the highest number of H-2B visas are 74.7% in Mexico, 8.9% in Jamaica and 2.7% in Guatemala. According to a report From the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Unlike H-2A visas, H-2B visas are subject to an annual limit set by Congress, which currently employs 66,000 people a year.

However, in May, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced raising the limit to a maximum of 22,000 additional visas. Till the end of the 2021 fiscal year, “American businesses have the resources needed to successfully recover and contribute to the economic health of local communities.” Indicated by DHS.

According to the DHS, 16,000 employers on these visas will already be allowed to employ H-2B employees in the United States, while 6,000 will be reserved for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras nationals. Legal avenues for opportunity in the United States. “

How to apply for an H-2B visa?

The petitioner or the employer must show that there are not enough “trained, willing, available and qualified to do temporary work.”

Employees hired under an H-2B visa should not be adversely affected by U.S. employees working in similar occupations, and the work of candidate workers should be temporary in nature. USCIS is temporarily considering a job:

  • It happens once: a petitioner argues that the need only occurs once, and that they did not hire employees before they did the service and that they will not need it in the future or that it is a permanent job situation or that it created the need for a temporary employee for a short period of time.
  • It is seasonal: the service or job you are looking for, related to the form of an event or series of events.
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Broadly speaking, the application process for the H2-B scheme is as follows:

  • Petitioner submits application for Temporary Employment Certificate for Foreign Workers from DOL.
  • Applicant must register Form I-129 with USCIS.
  • Applicants from outside the United States must apply for an H-2B visa at the US Embassy or Embassy abroad, and then apply for admission at the port of entry. They will need to bring the correct passport, a valid petition number (found on the job) and proof of payment of the US $ 190 visa application.

How long can I work in the US on an H2-B visa?

The maximum period of stay is 3 years. After 3 years, H-2B visa holders must leave the United States unrestricted for 3 months before applying for re-admission under the same type of visa.

The H-2B visa is issued for a period of one year, although it may require two extensions each up to one year. The extension request must be submitted before expiration and workers may be in the United States during the extension process.

Workers who receive an extension do not have to apply for a new visa until they have left the United States, and if they return to their home country, they must apply for a new visa before re-entering North America. Country.

– With information from Alejandra Ramos from CNN en Español.