For small or seasonal businesses, the H2B visa program has been a valuable lifeline. In cases where there are not enough U.S. workers willing or capable of performing one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent services, the program allows employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis to fulfill these labor needs.
As one of the businesses that use the H2B visa program, Green Impressions sees firsthand the value it delivers. Not only has the program helped fill job shortages, but some of our longest tenure workers (up to 17 years) have come from this legal seasonal work program. Access to these dependable, qualified employees has improved the quality of work for our clients while improving the quality of life for the foreign workers as well.
This season’s H2B workers arrive for training at Green Impressions.
How the H2B Program Works
Qualifying for the H2B program begins with a 120-day process where we actively try to hire American workers. The seasonality of the work ultimately makes this a difficult task.
After proving that this labor gap exists, we can request to hire foreign workers for a nine to 10 month period. Well-vetted by the U.S. government, H2B workers receive proper wages, pay taxes and are not eligible to collect welfare or unemployment benefits.
H2B workers learn the ins and out of how to use our equipment.
At the end of the season, H2B workers return to their home country where they retain ties. If these workers want to return to the U.S. the following year, they must re-apply for work again.
H2B workers put their landscape training into practice.
Why the H2B Program Is Beneficial to American Jobs
There’s often a misconception that the H2B program takes away jobs from U.S. workers. But the reality is it actually benefits American workers. Every H2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs.
There’s a simple reason for this. When employers have a reliable source of seasonal labor, they are able to hire more U.S. workers in supervisor and support roles that are full-time positions. Just as the quality of life improves for H2B workers, the same can be said for Americans.
And the benefits don’t stop there. From renting apartments to purchasing groceries and other goods, H2B workers make many contributions to the local economy that boost its overall health. Not to mention, it also creates an alternative to hiring undocumented workers that helps reduce illegal immigration.