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H-2 Temporary Worker Visa


The H-2 visa allows a worker to enter the U.S. and work for a temporary time period. The visa category is divided into two groups: H-2A, which is for temporary agricultural workers, and H-2B, which is for temporary nonagricultural workers.


Permission to Work in U.S.

H-2 visa holders are permitted to work in the U.S. for their petitioning employers.

Includes Spouse & Children

The spouse and children under 21 years of age are permitted to enter and remain in the U.S. during the validity of the H-2 visa. They are admitted on H-4 dependent visas.

Dependents Permitted to Attend School or College

The spouse and children under 21 years of age are permitted to attend school on their H-4 visa status.


Temporary Employment

The offer of employment and the job position itself must both be temporary in nature. Unlike the H-1B visa, the H-2 visa will not be issued based upon a temporary offer of employment for a permanent job position. The H-2 visa requires that the job itself be temporary or seasonal in nature.

Labor Certification

Prior to filing an application for the H-2 visa, the employer must first obtain a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor certifying that there are no available qualified U.S. citizens or residents willing to accept employment for the temporary position.

Personal Qualifications

The applicant must prove to the Immigration Service that the applicant possesses the required experience, education, or training to perform the temporary job.


One-Year Term

H-2 visas are granted for one-year increments, with an aggregate limitation of three years.

Spouse & Children Not Work Authorized

H-2 dependent spouses and children are not permitted to work while in the U.S.

Nonconvertible to Permanent Residence

H-2 visas are not convertible to lawful permanent residence status. Possessing an H-2 visa does not preclude obtaining lawful permanent residence by other means, such as alien labor certification, family petition, or political asylum.

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