FAQ for Alaska Employers Wishing to Hire Foreign Nationals

Since we do not specialize in visa related issues, we have asked Alliance Abroad Group to put together the following FAQ section to help employers looking to hire foreign nationals.

Question: What is the English level of the workers?

Answer: The level of English that is possessed by the participants is at minimum Intermediate level. You may request any type of English level on your company application. For instance, if the position that you have requested deals with customers on a regular basis, you may request Advanced English levels or fluency in English. It is important that you are extremely detailed on your application if you require specific levels of English.

Question: What is the average age group of the workers?

Answer: The average age of workers is found between 18-40. The participants do not need to be students, and therefore they may be older and more experienced than other types of programs might offer.

Question: What type of education level do the workers have? Do they have experience?

Answer: Most H-2B participants have a minimum level of a high school degree.

They are not required to have any previous experience for the positions they may work for. If you require some sort of experience for a position, it is important to be extremely detailed on your company application requesting workers.

Question: Can I interview the workers before they arrive or can I see their resumes?

Answer: In most situations, the host company does not interview the workers before they arrive or see their resumes. Since most H-2B positions are unskilled in nature, a resume is not necessary for the application. It is also somewhat difficult to provide interviews or resumes to host companies that have requested a large number of workers. The workers are largely interviewed and screened by both the overseas agent (I.e. recruiter) and the H-2B Program Manager to check on the compatibility between the Host Company and participant.

If a host company has had difficulties with workers who have not had the specified level of English as requested, your Program Manager can conduct interviews of the H-2B participants.

Question: Can the workers come back in the following season?

Answer: Yes! If you are interested in requesting the same workers that you had in the previous season for the upcoming season, you should make a note on your company application and your Program Manager will do their best to fulfill your request. This can be an option for host companies in order to decrease the amount of time spent on on-the job training.

Question: If I am not satisfied with a worker, can I fire them? Are they replaced?

Answer: If you are not satisfied with a particular worker, you can only fire them for lawful reasons. In other words, H-2B workers receive the same rights as American workers in the same position(s), meaning that the Host Company cannot terminate an employee for any reason except one that is lawful. If a worker is fired, they will not be replaced.

Question: If I fire a worker, do I have to pay the costs for their return home?

Answer: A host company, by law, is required to pay the reasonable return fees of an H-2B worker to their home country. Prior to arriving to the U.S., H-2B workers must have a round-trip ticket between the U.S. and their home country. Therefore, if the worker is fired, they should be able to make the necessary arrangements to change the date of their plane ticket and the host company would only be required to arrange for the transportation between the company and the airport. However, if the airlines cannot change the dates of the original ticket, other arrangements would be necessary.

Question: What is “seasonality” and how do I prove it?

Answer: Seasonality is required by the State Labor Office, as well as the INS, in order to prove that you have a need for foreign workers. This means that you need to show that you have a seasonal need for these workers and that they will be temporary – for instance, if you are requesting workers during the summer and you are a resort located near a beach, you can show seasonality through your monthly revenues, as well as the number of employees your employed per month during the year. Your data would show that your revenues and the number of employees you employ per month increases from January through July, and then begins to decrease again through December. Most Program Manager’s require that a company provide such data for the previous 2 years, as well as the current year in which you are requesting workers.

Question: When is the best time for me to apply (i.e. request workers)?

Answer: The H-2B process takes approximately 5-6 months, beginning from the moment we receive your company application requesting workers, until the INS approves your request and notifies consulates for participants to apply for their visas. Thus, it is recommended that you provide your Program Manager with your request for workers 6 months prior to the estimated start date that you will need the workers.

Question: Am I able to participate in the recruitment process?

Answer: Yes! This will vary by Program Manager. Alliance Abroad Group offers the following. You are able to participate in the recruitment process in two ways. First, if you request 200 or more workers, you may participate in a recruitment trip to help select participants for your positions. If you request less than 200 workers, you may still participate by providing us with any specific details of the type of workers you want and if you prefer workers from a particular set of countries.

Question: Am I required to provide company housing for the workers?

Answer: Host companies are not mandated to provide company housing for the workers. However, it is highly recommended that the host company provide such housing in order to better help the workers once they are working for the company. If there is no company housing, it is recommended that host companies aid in assisting workers find housing, since the company might have some knowledge as to the best or most affordable housing in the particular location.

Question: Are the workers allowed to hold a second job?

Answer: Per H-2B visa regulations, participants are not allowed to have a second job. They are only allowed to legally work for the company that is listed on their I-94 card and their INS petition. If you find that a participant is working at a second location, you must contact the H-2B Program Manager immediately.

Question: How much in wages am I required to pay an H-2B worker?

Answer: A H-2B worker must be paid the prevailing wage for the county in which the worker is working. The wage that is paid to an H-2B worker is at minimum the same that is paid to American workers.

Question: What are all the documents involved in the H-2B process?

Answer: The documents that are involved include: G-28 Notice of Entry of Attorney or Representative [on behalf of Employer] (INS document filed at State DOL and INS), ETA 750A (State DOL), I-129 with H-Supplement (INS), I-797B Notice of Approval (INS). Other documents that are involved in the process include recruitment result reports, seasonality, and company application, Specific Form.

Below is a list of Visa Program Managers and other valuable resources. We are giving Alliance Abroad Group more exposure as they helped us develop this section and our section for Foreign Nationals.

Alliance Abroad Group

J Type Visas
H Type Visas
Alliance Abroad Group assists employers by: Alliance Abroad Group assists employers by:
– Recruiting international students for 4 month positions – Recruiting unskilled workers for 4-10 months duration
– Working with your company to secure nearby housing – Screening for qualifications you specify
– Screening & Language assessment DS 2019 form, precursor

to the J-1 visa application

– Petitioning the Dept. of Labor for certification of your

jobs

– Arrival information for the date you specify – Processing immigration paperwork for H-2A or H-2B visas
– Providing a local coordinator for large orders – Delivering workers on the date your specify
– Providing support and an emergency 24/7/365 help-line – Providing workers who will stay the duration of the contract
– Providing support and an emergency 24/7/365 help-line

 

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