Tree Companies and H-2B Visas
Tree companies often rely on seasonal workers to help with tasks such as planting, pruning, and removing trees. However, finding and hiring these workers can be a challenge, especially for companies located in the United States. One solution to this problem is to bring in workers from other countries through the H-2B visa program.
The H-2B visa program allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire non-agricultural workers from other countries for a specific period of time. This can include jobs such as tree planting, pruning, and removal. To be eligible for the H-2B visa, the worker must be from a country that the U.S. government has designated as eligible for the program. Additionally, the employer must be able to demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers available to fill the position and that hiring foreign workers will not negatively impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
The first step for a tree company to get its workers an H-2B visa is to apply for labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This involves completing and submitting an Application for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142) and providing evidence that the company has attempted to recruit U.S. workers for the position.
Once the labor certification is approved, the employer can then file a petition for H-2B workers with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This involves submitting a Form I-129, which includes information about the employer, the job, and the foreign workers. The employer must also provide evidence that the workers meet the qualifications for the job and that they will not displace U.S. workers.
After the petition is approved, the workers can then apply for the H-2B visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. They will need to provide various documents, including a valid passport, proof of their qualifications for the job, and evidence that they have ties to their home country and will return after the end of their employment.
Overall, the H-2B visa program can be a valuable tool for tree companies looking to bring in foreign workers to help with seasonal tasks. However, the process can be time-consuming and require careful planning. It is important to work with experienced immigration attorneys, such as the Bolour/Carl Immigration Group, to navigate the process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.