UNITED STATES H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 Visa

The H-2 category (H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 Visa) aka USA work visas allows U.S. companies/employers to bring immigrants into the U.S. on temporary agricultural (H-2A) and non-agricultural (H-2B) visas. The H-3 visa permits overseas workers coming temporarily to the United States to either obtain training or to join in a special education exchange visitor training program.

Who Is It For

H-2A Visa Program: Temporary Agricultural Worker

For temporary or periodic agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of selected countries, with partial exceptions, if found to be in the United States interest.

H-2B Visa Program: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker

For temporary or periodic non- farming or agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of selected countries, with partial exceptions, if found to be in the United States interest.

H-3 Visa Program: Trainee or Special Education visitor

To receive formal training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not existing in the trainee’s native country or applied training programs in the teaching of children with physical, mental, or emotive disabilities.

How to Qualify?

Eligibility for H-2A Visa:

To be eligible for H-2A non-immigrant visa, the petitioner must:

  • Obtain a Job Offer a job for temporary basis
  • Prove that there are not enough U.S. employees who are qualified, capable and available to do the temporary work,
  • Show that potential employees are citizens of an H-2A eligible country (see the H-2A temporary Agricultural Workers pagefor the list),
  • Prove that employing H-2A workers will not harmfully affect the salary and working terms of similarly active U.S. workers and
  • Provide a valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor

H-2A beneficiaries may stay in the United States for up to 3 years.

Please visit the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers page for more information.

Eligibility for H-2B Visa:

To be eligible for H-2B non-immigrant classification, the petitioner must start that:

  • Prove that there are not enough U.S. employees who are qualified, capable and available to do the temporary work,
  • The potential employees are citizens of an H-2B listed country (see the H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Workers page)
  • Prove that employing H-2A workers will not harmfully affect the salary and working terms of similarly active U.S. workers and
  • Its need for the potential worker’s job or labor is temporary. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is:
    • one-time occurrence – A petitioner claiming a one-time occurrence must show that it has not hired workers to perform the service or labor in the past.
    • seasonal need – A petitioner demanding a seasonal need must demonstrate that the service or labor for which it needs workers is: usually tied to a time or season of the year
    • Peak load need – A petitioner claiming a peak load need must demonstrate that it: recurrently hires permanent workers to do the services or labor at the place of employment, that it needs to temporarily increase staffing due to a seasonal or short-term demand
    • intermittent need – A petitioner claiming an intermittent need must demonstrate that it has not hired permanent or full-time workers to do the services or labor and that it infrequently or intermittently requires temporary workers to do services or labor for short periods.

H-2B petitioners must also provide a single valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 

Please visit the H-2B Nonagricultural Works page for more information.  

Eligibility for H-3 Visa:

In order to obtain H-3 visa, a U.S. employer or organization must include a statement that demonstrates:

  • The anticipated training is not possible in the noncitizen’s native country,
  • The applicant will not be placed in a role that is part of the normal operation of the business and in which U.S. nationals and resident workers are regularly employed,
  • The applicant will not involve in productive employment unless such employment is related and required to the training, and
  • The training will help the beneficiary in finding out a career outside the United States.

Each H-3 petition for a trainee must include a statement that:

  • Defines the category of training and supervision to be provided, and the structure of the training program;
  • Sets the proportion of time that will be dedicated to fruitful employment;
  • Shows the number of times that will be consumed, respectively, in schoolroom instruction and in on –the-job training;
  • Defines the career abroad for which the training will prepare the applicants;
  • Indicates the motives why such training cannot be done in the noncitizen’s country and why it is required for the noncitizen to be trained in the United States; and
  • Indicates the basis of any remuneration received by the trainee and any advantage which will grow to the employer/organization for providing the training.

Process

How to apply for H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 Visa?

To begin the petition process, the employer must:

Once we receive your Form I-129, we will process your application and you will receive:

  • A receipt notice of confirmation of your application
  • A biometric service notice
  • A notice of decision.

Documents Needed

Basic documents may include:

  • Online Form DS-160 and the receipt
  • Form DS-156
  • Form DS-157 (if male between 16 and 45 years old)
  • Visa application fee of $190
  • Passport
  • One photograph meeting the Digital Images Requirements for US visa
  • Job offer from U.S employer
  • Copies of approvals from USCIS (Form I-797 and Form I-129)
  • Proof that they intend to return to their home country such as a property deed, apartment lease, or future job contract.

Government Fees

The visa application fee for the H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 Visa is $460.

Additional Information

The approval of a petition does not assure that you will be granted a visa. Do not make a travel plan or buy tickets unless you have a visa in your passport.

Source: U.S. Department of State