How do you use the H-2B program? I have heard about it, but I am not sure what it is.
Do I need a lawyer? Do I have to pay extra for Employees?
Learn more about H-2B with Dave and Jonathan, and how they use it in CLIP Lawn Care!
What Is H2B and Why Do We Use It
H2B is a government program to bring unskilled workers into the US to perform jobs that US Citizens do not want to do. It is a temporary visa meant for non agricultural services or labor.
For the most part, these jobs are seasonal jobs. For example, lawn maintenance during the spring and summer season.
So why go through the hassle of H2B?
Firstly, finding hard working seasonal employees can be tough in certain areas. Local workers also might not be as motivated to work through the heat and long hours.
Secondly, these migrant workers tend to be more dedicated to your company. We found they will often keep asking for more work so they can earn as much income as possible while they are legal in the US.
How Do I Get Started With H2B?
The H2B program is a visa program run by the US Government. The government sets a limit each year on how many of these visas can be issued.
The program starts in September for visas for the following year. Sometimes the process might start a little later, so be sure to check the government website.
You first need to fill out the Prevailing Wage Determination form. This form ensures that you’re going to be paying a fair wage to your foreign workers.
Next, you must offer the job to local workers to ensure there aren’t enough to fill your need. The two steps required here are to post the opening with your local workforce agency online and place an ad in the newspaper.
If there are qualified candidates that respond, you must note that on your H2B visas as US Citizens must be hired first.
After you hear back from the Department of Labor, there will be a USCIS Form I-29 form to fill out. Then, schedule interviews at the consulate in the country your hiring from.
There are services out there that can help you find these temporary workers. Referrals from current H2B employees will help you fill positions in the seasons to follow.
Understanding Legal Implications
We strongly recommend, especially when you’re first starting this process, that you hire a lawyer to walk you through it. While there is a lot of information to sort through and paperwork to complete, the process is definitely doable without a lawyer if you so choose.
Going through this legal process of hiring foreign workers will help mitigate any risks you might incur with illegal workers. There have been companies that have lost everything through fines by hiring illegal workers.