Sunday, December 5

How to find a temporary job in the United States?


(CNN Español) — The United States has a long history of importing foreign temporary workers, as in the past they were needed to cope with a wartime shortage of American workers.

In 2020, the Department of State (DOS) stated that “the H-2 program is essential to the economy and food security of the United States and is a national security priority.”

Currently, the North American country grants thousands of H-2 visas to workers with or without experience – non-professionals and without an academic degree – to carry out temporary jobs in the country to carry out seasonal agricultural work, livestock production, construction, meat and seafood processing , among others.

The H-2 visa category is divided into two types of visas:

Greater accessibility to temporary jobs

At the end of July 2021, Joe Biden’s administration outlined next steps to achieve an immigration system with more “humane” policies, such as improving expedited deportation for people arriving at the border, considering asylum applications more efficiently, and expanding access to temporary work visas in the region.

Similarly, the administration says it is “exploring ways to improve access to H-2A visas for temporary farm workers,” as long as there are not enough qualified US workers to fill these positions.

Among the goals set in July, the Biden administration said it will encourage other governments to facilitate access to find “meaningful temporary work,” and also pledged to reduce the backlog of visa applications from Northern Triangle nationals.

Temporary work visas in the USA

Women collect crabs at WT Ruark Seafood Co. on May 17, 2018 in Hoopers Island, Maryland. Due to a new lottery system this year, several seafood companies did not obtain temporary H-2B visas for their largely Mexican workforce that has been coming to the east coast of Maryland for more than two decades to pick up the crab meat that is sold. sells in restaurants and stores on the east coast. (Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Unlike the H-2B visa, which is subject to an annual limit of 66,000, the H-2A visa for agricultural workers is not subject to any numerical limitations.

In fact, the visa H-2A It is the only type of visa that has had an increase in emissions over five years. According to data from Department of Labor (DOL), in 2016 the US issued a total of 134,368 H-2A visas and in 2020 213,394 visas were issued, an increase of 62%.

The most common jobs in 2020 for people under H-2A status are held by farmworkers and day laborers, farm equipment operators, and farmworkers of farm animals, livestock, and aquatic animals.

Despite the 66,000 limit for H-2B visas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the supplemental increase to a maximum of 22,000 additional visas until the end of fiscal year 2021 “to ensure that American businesses are equipped with the resources necessary to recover successfully and contribute to the economic health of local communities,” indicated by DHS.

Of the 22,000 additional visas, 16,000 are for workers who received an H-2B visa or were granted H-2B status in one of the last three fiscal years. The other 6,000 are reserved for temporary non-agricultural workers from the Northern Triangle of Central America (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) in fiscal year 2021.

In 2020, the US granted a total of 65,716 H-2B visas, mostly occupied by gardeners, forestry workers and meat cutters.

The countries whose citizens received the highest number of H-2B visas were Mexico with 74.7%, followed by Jamaica with 8.9% and Guatemala with 2.7%, according to a report from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How to find a temporary job in the USA?

Victor Hernandez, who is in the U.S. on an H-2A guest worker visa, picks oranges for Sorrells Brothers Packing Co., Inc. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

On the DOL website you can see the temporary jobs available in the United States, as well as its description, duration, location, payment and contact. However, the website is only available in English.

“Workers can enter and enter their job classification and employers looking for workers in that category can apply for or contact an employer in the US,” immigration attorney Jeff Joseph explained to CNN.

Once a job offer is available from the employer, prospective workers outside the U.S. will need to apply for the H-2A or H-2B visa (after USCIS approves their Form I-129) with the Department of State in a US embassy or consulate. Finally, they must apply for admission to the US at a port of entry into the country.

More on immigration:


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