If you’re having a difficult time finding labor for your business, you’re not alone. Current statistics show unemployment in the United States currently hovering just a little above 3%, one of the lowest rates since the late 1960s. Is it any wonder that businesses are having a hard time finding labor? Fortunately, there’s a great solution: H2 visa workers. By working with qualified H2 visa workers, you can avoid the myriad legal problems related to undocumented workers while getting the job done. But how does this class of workers help your business and how do you get started with the process?
How H2 Visa Workers Help Your Labor Shortage Woes Disappear
To qualify for hiring H2 visa workers, your business needs to meet a few specific requirements. You or your agent must be able to demonstrate that there are insufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, available or qualified to meet the demands of your business. The need for that specific worker must be temporary in nature, whether due to seasonal shifts, temporary upswings in business or similar situations. You must be able to demonstrate that the H2 visa worker will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers in similar employment, and you need to show that the prospective workers are nationals of an H2 visa eligible country.
H2 visa workers fall into two distinct categories:
- H2A visa workers are agricultural workers specifically, including migrant farmhands and seasonal help that are only employed by the farm for specific times of need. Due to the nature of agricultural work, H2A visa petitions are expedited.
- H2B visa workers are non-agricultural workers who are brought in to meet a range of other needs, including construction, hospitality, foodservice and similar industries. Because these industries are somewhat predictable in demand, expediting these petitions involve an additional fee.
In both situations, H2 visa workers can be employed up to a year, with extensions allowing employment up to three years, depending on the specific situation. The amount of time that the worker can be employed or extended is based on the information on the labor certificate they receive when the H2 visa is approved. Once the maximum length of time has been reached, the worker must leave the country for at least 90 days before they can return.
In many cases, the employer is required to providing housing and food for the worker, with individual states having a range of different requirements intersecting federal law, creating a confusing and sometimes conflicting mess for employers to sort out. There are also reporting requirements: if a worker fails to show up for work the first five days of the start date, fails to show up for work for five consecutive days without your consent, is terminated or the work is completed more than 30 days before the expected end date, you are required to contact U.S.C.I.S. to report the situation.
Obtaining H2 visa workers can be a somewhat complex process, though it gets easier once you’ve navigated the system a few times. Do you know all of the different regulations you need to follow to secure H2 visa workers for your business? Are you ready to spend that much time chasing paperwork, legal changes and government bureaucrats, or would you like an easier solution? Changing regulations means that you’ll have to keep up with different requirements, and some states have different requirements that you’ll need to stay on top of to remain in compliance with the law. However, that’s not where the problem really falls.
The process of securing the right H2 visa workers can be very problematic. How do you ensure that the worker you’re hiring has the skills they claim that they do? How do you deal with the situation if they’re not living up to their end of the contract? What do you do if they can’t do the job you’ve hired them for? This can create a complicated problem for the business owner. What do you do if you hire workers that end up having criminal backgrounds or drug problems that they bring with them to their new jobs in the U.S.? What if you’ve already traveled to that country to recruit, only to discover after a couple of days on the job that the worker can’t manage the physical demands of the job? What if you hire someone for your resort, just to discover that they have serious psychological problems that are scaring your guests away?
These are a few of the many reasons why many business owners turn to agencies for the management of their H2 visa hiring and requirements. Instead of having to stay on top of all of the shifting requirements, you can focus on running your business and putting those H2 visa workers to good work to benefit your company. You can focus on how you’re going to put them to work once they arrive instead of spending extensive time in international travel to conduct an interview. You can get the job done instead of being stuck in the office, trying to wade through bureaucratic double-talk, regulatory issues and piles of paperwork.
H2 visa workers can provide a range of solutions to your labor shortage needs, and working with a well-qualified agency such as LaborMex can make the process simple. LaborMex has been in operation with H2 workers for over 15 years, processing thousands of H2 visa workers for companies ranging in size from small farms to Fortune 500 with a low turnover rate. Whether you have specific workers that you need to move through the H2 visa process or need to have HD video conference interviews coordinated to help you find the perfect candidates, our experienced staff are ready to help with criminal background checks, physicals, psychological evaluations and drug testing. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions, for more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced associates.