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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FAQ for H-2B or H-2A Seasonal Work Programs (H visa)

Question: Can a person, who already came to the U.S. once or twice on a J visa, return on an H visa?
Answer: Yes

Question: What is the pay scale for H workers?
Answer: The pay varies from Alaska State's minimum wage of $7.l5 per hour and up. H workers get paid the prevailing wage for the type of work. The rate paid will be at least the same as U.S. workers for the same position.

Question: How long can a worker stay in the U.S. on an H visa?
Answer: Up to 10 months

Question: Can a worker on H visa come back the next year?
Answer: Yes, following a solid two months in their home country, an H worker may reapply for another H visa. Once the worker has had an H visa, it is easier to get another one as they have demonstrated they have returned to their home residence once.

Question: What is the least amount of time an H worker can stay?
Answer: It depends on the company hiring you on the H visa, but usually 4 or 5 months stay with a minimum stay of 3 months. Generally, the fewer months requested by the employer, the wage has to offset the worker's costs of coming to the U.S.

Question: How many months does the process take for applicants?
Answer: The Applicant should plan on applying a minimum of 90 days before the actual start date of the position.

Question: Are there any questions that Applicant needs to know about how to respond on the application?
Answer: It is very important that the Applicant always uses his/her country of birth, rather than citizenship. It needs to be filled in as follows: "Guatemala" (citizenship Mexico).

Question: Does Applicant need to maintain a residence in his/her home country?
Answer: Yes. Applicant must be able to specify an address where he/she will return upon completion of the program.

Question: Can Applicant participate in the H-2B program if he/she has been on the program before?
Answer: Yes, however, Applicant must notify their Visa Program Manager (if they use one) as to the exact dates of when he/she was in the U.S., the company(s) he/she worked for and the length of time.

Question: Does Applicant need to obtain a Social Security Card?
Answer: Yes. If Applicant has previously received work permission and has a social security number, even a non-work social security number, you should provide this to your Visa Program Manager.

Question: Can Applicant apply at any consulate?
Answer: Applicant will have to apply where the overseas partner tells him/her the non-immigrant visa application will be made. Although it is usually at the consulate that has jurisdiction over where he/she lives - it may be done in groups at any consulate. This information is necessary when Applicant applies, as the petition will be sent directly to the consulate that is indicated on his/her application.

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