You can opt for work visas for agricultural (H-2A) and non-agricultural (H-2B) activities.
If you are thinking of looking for a job in the United States and could not access the visa lottery, the Department of Homeland Security with the advice of the Department of State (both from the United States), released the list of countries that can access the H-2A and H-2B visa programs of 2022.
Within it is Ecuador, as well as countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, in the region.
This program allows US employers to bring foreign nationals from listed countries to work and fill positions in agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Petitions are approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
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These types of visas are for people who do not have or do have experience in the field as well as it is not necessary to have an academic degree, they differ from each other by the type of activity.
How do you apply for the H-2A visa?
This program allows US employers or agents to bring in foreigners to fill temporary jobs in agriculture. Among the requirements that they must meet are to offer a job of a temporary or seasonal nature; demonstrate that there are not enough capable, willing, qualified, and available US workers to perform the temporary work and demonstrate that hiring H-2A employees will not affect the wages and working conditions of US employees in similar tasks.
The process is the following:
- First, the employer submits the application for Temporary Work certification from the United States Department of Labor. In addition, you must have received the Temporary Work Certification for your H-2A employees.
- Following this, the petitioner submits a Form I-129 to USCIS.
- Prospective employees who are outside the United States apply for the visa.
- Once the form is approved by USCIS, prospective employees must submit their visa application to the embassy of the country in which they reside and admission to the US Customs and Border Protection office at a port of entry.
Generally, these visas have a maximum stay of three years and after this period of time the person must leave the country and after three months they can request readmission.
If they have a family (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) they can also apply for admission to the United States, but through the H-4 visa, however, they cannot obtain employment while in that status.
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How do you apply for the H-2B visa?
In the case of this type of visa, the employer must specify that there are not enough capable, willing, qualified and available US workers to perform the temporary work as well as the employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of American workers with similar jobs. Temporary work is considered to be one that is of a single occurrence or seasonal need.
Like the previous process, the step by step is similar:
- The employer submits an application for temporary labor certification to the Department of State, however, before applying for the H-2B classification, the temporary labor certification for these types of workers must be requested and received by the Department of Labor.
- Form I-129 is submitted to USCIS.
- Prospective workers apply for admission or a visa to the United States at an embassy.
The maximum period of stay is three years for this type of visa. The family can also apply for admission through the H-2B visa. (I)