The labor shortage has become one of the biggest problems in stimulating the American economy. For this reason, the authorities have strengthened programs that facilitate the hiring of foreign nationals for jobs where there are no local workers. Known how to get a temporary job in the United States from abroad with the H-2 program and which countries are eligible.
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The H-2 program was declared in 2020 by the Department of State (DOS) as “essential to the economy and food security” of the United States and a “national security priority.” But what is it and how can it help you get a job? This is what you need to know.
Under the H-2 program, the United States allows the hiring of thousands of foreigners (professionals or without an academic degree) to perform temporary jobs in the agricultural, livestock or construction sectors, among others; and whose quotas have not been filled with local labor.
The H-2 program is divided into two categories, depending on the job position that a company needs to fill. These are the types of temporary work visas:
- Temporary H-2A visas: for agricultural jobs.
- Temporary H-2B visas: for non-farm jobs.
Employers participating in the H-2 program must demonstrate to the Department of Labor (DOL) that there is not enough local labor to do the job; that they are temporary jobs; and it does not affect the wages of American workers.
In the case of foreigners who are outside the United States, the employer must present the form I-29 before the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once your application is approved, you will be in a position to hire foreigners.
Although it is only available in English, the platform allows you to search for specific jobs or, if you prefer, all the job alternatives available in a particular city or state.
With the results, you can filter them by distance, type of payment (hourly, day, weekly or monthly), start date and if the type of work (agricultural or non-agricultural).
When you have found a job of your interest, you must select it and a file will be displayed where the job description, salary level, location and the contact information to apply will appear.
If you are abroad, you should wait for the USCIS to approve the employer’s Form I-29. When this happens, you must apply for the H-2A or H-2B visa, as appropriate, at the US embassy or consulted in your country; and request entry to the United States at the Customs and Border Protection office of a border crossing or port.
H-2 visas are granted for a maximum of one year, although they can be renewed up to a maximum of two occasions for one year each.
The application must be submitted before the expiration of the visa, which allows the worker to remain in the United States during the period for which the renewal process is extended.
At the end of the third year of stay, foreigners must leave the United States for at least three months. After this period, they can participate in the H-2 program again.
The program allows the worker to enter the United States with their spouse and children under the age of 21 under the H-4 category, which prevents them from working.
UCSIS annually renews the list of countries whose citizens can participate in the H2 visa program. This is the current payroll for Latin American countries for the 2022 period:
- Costa Rica
- The Savior
- Paraguay (only for the H-2A program)
- Dominican Republic
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines