H-2B PROGRAM - GETTING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING
The H-2B visa is a nonimmigrant program that allows foreign workers to work in the United States.
Foreign workers are hired by U.S. Employers on a temporary basis to perform nonagricultural services, or labor during their peak season, on a one-time circumstance, or intermittent basis.
80% of the inquiries E-JAM gets for overseas placement are persons wanting to work on the US H-2B Program. The number of Jobseekers that submit applications far outweigh the number of H-2B positions that become available.
From Jobseekers' repeated questions, it is evident that many do not fully understand the H-2B Program and its process. The purpose of this article along with the FAQ on our website is to provide information that will help many in getting a better understanding of the H-2B program.
Host Companies - U.S. Employer
1. Must first apply to the US Government to gain permission to hire foreign/seasonal workers.
2. Must have a seasonal, or one time need and able to prove not being able to find persons in the United States who are capable of performing the same job. (The program is intended to assist employers who are seriously experiencing a labor shortage).
3. Process takes approximately five months from filing the application to the arrival of the workers.
4. Companies are required to pay: Government filing/advertising fees; legal/Attorney fees; transportation/visa fees for workers and recruiter’s fee. (In January 2009, The Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security issued new regulations that require Employers to pay ALL legal and recruitment fees associated with the recruitment of H-2B workers).
5. Final decision as to the number of foreign workers host companies can hire are decided by The Department of Labor.
6. Fear of the Cap being reached before their H-2B application is approved. (US Congress sets the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year; 33,000 October 1 – March 31 and 33,000 April 1 – September 30).
The Foreign Agency – E-JAM
1. Hiring Managers contact E-JAM once they receive approval from US Government to hire H-2B workers.
2. Service Clients’ returning workers, or recruit new workers.
3. Search online resume database for qualified applicants based on Clients specification.
4. Contact and pre-screen potential candidates.
5. Submit resumes of qualified candidates to Hiring Manager for review and selection for interview.
6. Arrange Skype interviews, or organize Employers’ visit to Jamaica for in person interviews.
7. Assist candidates with their US Embassy application in order for them to obtain their non-immigrant H-2B visa.
8. Drop off candidates’ passport at our local US Embassy.
9. Accompany candidates for their appointments at the US Embassy.
10. Arrange ticket purchase and travel plans for workers.
Applicants must understand that the types of available H-2B jobs are usually: Housekeepers, Cooks, Servers, Kitchen Staff and Landscapers. Based on the high percentage of unsuitable applications received, it appears that most people are more interested in the possibility of working overseas than the advertised position. We are asking all H-2B Jobseekers to please read the job ad carefully and DO NOT apply if your skills do not match what Employers are looking for.
We hope this article helps you to get a better understanding of the H-2B Program. Please check our online FAQ for additional answers to your questions.