H2B Visa Advantages

Posted on April 24, 2007 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Advantages of H-2B Compared to Other Immigration Option

In previous articles, we introduced the basic qualification requirements for H-2B visa and the general procedures for the filing of H-2B visa application.  In this article, we will address some of the questions raised by the readers or our clients.

Mr. Park asked:

I have run restaurant businesses for several years in the United States. As my business is growing very fast, I am planning to open up a few Korean restaurants in different cities, but I found that it is hard to find good chefs in the U.S.  It seems that my best bet is to find someone from South Korea. I have a friend in Korea who is an experienced chef and has done trainings for many students in chef training school in Korea.  I hope I can bring him to the U.S. to help me as soon as possible.  Eventually, I would like to sponsor him for the green card, too. So I want to know what would be the best way for me to do this.


In Mr. Park’s situation, he basically has two options.  First, he can bring his friend into the U.S. by applying for green card for his friend directly through the Labor Certification process under the Employment-based Immigration. Secondly, he can bring his friend to the U.S. through H-2B visa.  Which one is better?

For the Labor Certification process, the advantage would be that the alien worker could come to the United States as a green card holder and work for the employer permanently, if the employer applied for an employment-based immigration visa for the alien worker and the visa was approved.  In such situation, Mr. Park would not need to worry about the risk of the chef’s status going to expire.  The disadvantage would be, on the other hand, that it could take several years before Mr. Park’s friend could actually come to the U.S. due to the shortage of immigration visas and the complexity of the labor certification process.

Compared to the Labor Certification process, the advantage of H-2B visa is obvious.  Since H-2B visa is for temporary non-agricultural workers, its application process is far quicker.  In general, it takes about six to nine months for an employer to bring a foreign worker into the United States.  The disadvantage for H-2B visa would be that these workers who come to the U.S. with H-2B visa could come to the U.S. for temporary work only.  They could not stay in the U.S. for more than three years in total.  After the temporary work is completed, they would have to return to their home country.

Regarding Mr. Park’s situation, Since Mr. Park wants to expand his business, he may need more than one chef and he may need them to work for him as soon as possible.  If Mr. Park chooses to apply for their green cards through the Labor Certification process, he would need to wait for a long time before they could come to the United States.  As a result, it would be very difficult for him to catch up with the business opportunities.  With H-2B alone, on the other hand, he may be able to get his friend to come to the U.S. sooner, but his friend could only work for him for a short period of time.  To balance between the short term needs and the long term needs, the best choice for Mr. Park may be to use both H-2B visa and the Labor Certification process at the same time.  He could apply for the H-2B visa first to bring his friend to the U.S. quickly to help his business. At the same time, he could start the employment-based green card application process to bring more chefs from overseas later.  Even if his friend had to leave after the H-2B expired, he could still have other chefs to help him with the business.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.