H-1B and H-2B Visas: What’s the Difference?


H-1B and H-2B are two different categories of visas under U.S. immigration laws. These visas allow immigrants to come to the U.S. on a temporary basis for varying purposes.

The H-1B visa is for individuals with specialized skills, usually obtained through an advanced degree program. Individuals who qualify for admission pursuant to this category of visa must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who has received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Labor that there are no U.S. citizens who can fill that position. In other words, the employer must first advertise, recruit, and interview American candidates before considering foreign candidates. The particular position also must be in line with the salaries and working conditions of U.S. citizens in similar positions.

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There are two more specific sub-categories to the H-1B visa, one for government researcher workers (H-1B2 and high-profile fashion models (H-1B3). The H-1B visa is valid for three years and may be renewed for an additional three years. There is limit on the number of H-1B visas issued by the U.S. government each year.

In contrast, the H-2B visa program is designed for non-professional foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in non-agricultural temporary jobs for qualified U.S. employers, or those who meet specific regulatory requirements. These jobs often are in the hospitality and tourism industries. An H-2B visa is authorized for one year, but employers may extend the visa for up to three years. This is a non-immigrant visa; once the visa expires or is no longer authorized, the immigrant must return to his or her native country. There also are annual caps on the number of H-2B visas issued each year.

When you or a loved one is facing an immigration law problem, you need legal advice and counsel from experienced Texas immigration attorneys. At Peek Law Group, we are here to help you with your immigration case. We will devote all our efforts to representing your interests, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact Peek Law Group and schedule a time to meet with us today. We can help protect your rights and get you the relief that you need.

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