What are H-2A and H-2B visas and who can apply for them

The Department of Homeland Security USA (DHS for its acronym in English) announced, through a statement, the list of countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visas. So if you’ve ever entertained the idea of ​​going to to work on the other side of the northern border, we have good news for you: Mexico is within this list. Today in Destinations we tell you how this type of work works visas and how you can get one.

What are the H-2A and H-2B visas?

The H2 visas allow foreigners to get job temporarily on the ground U.S in jobs in agriculture, construction, forestry, and many other types of industry.

The H-2A visa corresponds only to jobs related to agriculture and H-2B to any other type of employment. Every year, USA emits thousands of visas of this type to allow the legal entry of workers to its territory.

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Photo: Unsplash

The idea of ​​going to work at USA it is very attractive to many. According to the Department of Job In that country, the federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 per hour. This means that for an 8-hour workday you can get up to 58 dollars, about 1,190 Mexican pesos at the current exchange rate. A stark contrast to the minimum wage in Mexico which in 2021 stood at 141.70 pesos a day, according to the National Minimum Wage Commission.

Due to the above, and above all because of the proximity, the mexicans have been the main beneficiaries of the H2 visas. According to a report from the Citizenship and Immigration Service of USA (USCIS), more than 65,716 visas were issued in 2020 H-2B. These were mostly occupied by gardeners, forestry workers and meat cutters. The country that received the most visas of this type was Mexico with 74.7%.

Very good news is that DHS reported in April 2021 that it would increase the limit of H2 visas to a maximum of an additional 22,000 in order for American businesses to recover from the ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. So if you were already considering applying for this visa, maybe you have a bigger chance.

How can I get an H2 visa?

According to the official website of the embassies and consulates of USA on Mexico, to obtain a visa H2 you must first apply for to work in an American company that hires foreigners under this modality. American consulates and embassies in Mexico They do not have information on these types of companies, but they recommend attending job fairs, Mexican government offices, or government agencies. visas to find these organizations.

Once you have found a company with a job offer to work with H2 visa, it will be in charge of giving you a written contract. Be very careful, they must give you this document in Spanish or in your native language, as well as specify detailed information about wages, duration of work, hours, benefits, etc. Likewise, the company will make a request to the Immigration and Citizenship Service so that you can request an appointment at the consulate and process your visa.

Additionally, you will have to fill out a DS-160 application form and pay a fee for the application for visa of 190 dollars. Many times the company you plan to work for can give you advice on how to fill out this form correctly. Once you meet these requirements, you must go to various appointments at the consulate for taking photos, fingerprints, and interviews. It is very important that you have at all times a valid passport, petition number (granted by your company) and proof of payment of the fee. visa.

If all goes well and your request for H2 visa is approved, in less than you expect you will be on a plane heading to your next job in the USA.

Read more: Pulque, forests and other wonders in Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala

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