“That’s the only visa that applies to professionals, non-professionals, trained, untrained. Everyone who can get a work contract of less than one year and it can be renewable”.
The explanation was offered by Immigration expert, Roque Leonel Rodriguez, as soon as the news was released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that Dominicans are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs next year.
In addition to including the Dominican Republic in the list of those eligible for this type of visa, the United States included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Haiti, Mauritius and Saint Lucia.
Rodriguez indicated that this process is done on the basis of quotas of 33,000 workers every six months and the number of people who can apply for the Dominican Republic is unlimited.
This is how the process works
“The process is done in two stages. The first one requests a certification from the Department of Labor of the United States, which is similar to the Ministry of Labor here, which has to certify that there is no one available in the United States for the job that the Dominican is requesting, and if in a period of approximately one month after placing the advertisement in the newspapers it is determined that no one is interested in the job, then the Department of Labor approves the Dominican that can go to work in the United States and then applies to Immigration and Immigration approves the visa”.
He added that the worker has to go to the consulate in the Dominican Republic to get his H2-B visa with that approval for a job in the United States.
This type of visa is regularly given to minor league baseball players, to students who are going to work in the summer, to those who are going to do maintenance work in parks and grounds or to clean snow, it is authorized, but also to professionals for temporary work of something that does not require further preparation.
“People who know how to do the work for which they are being requested can apply for an H2-B visa. It is generally used for seasonal work such as construction, cleaning, even babysitting, working in parks, attending to vending centers, etc. Trained workers are needed, who know how to do a trade and who will do it on a temporary basis, that includes technicians in any area such as electricians, plumbers, painters, almost everyone who works in construction and its derivatives, qualifies”.
Dominicans are eligible for the H-2A Visa which is for agricultural work, for food processing plants and for planting and harvesting, but few Creoles apply for this type of work, although they qualify, said the specialist, noting that most are Mexicans who apply for this visa, also South Americans and Jamaicans.
US and Dominican Republic authorities discussed the issue in September.
Last September 30, the Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Alvarez met with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere of the Department of Homeland Security, David Cloe, and discussed the entry of the Dominican Republic to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2B visa program, which is for non-agricultural workers.