The H-2B visa is reserved for individuals who will be performing temporary nonagricultural services or labor. The U.S. employer’s need for the service or labor should be a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need or an intermittent need.  Similar to the H-2A visa, the H-2B visa also requires a U.S. employer to submit a temporary labor certification to the Department of Labor demonstrating a shortage of U.S. workers.

Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are allowed to accompany or join the H-2B worker, in H-4 dependent status. However, they cannot work unless they independently qualify for a work visa. Spouses and children are permitted to attend school while in H-4 status.