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H1B vs H2B Visas

The US immigration policy focuses on bringing in talented and experienced workers to the country to work on the current projects. Several visas exist to accommodate the need of employers and potential employees.

The most popular options issued in the USA right now are H1B and H2B visas. What are the differences between them? Which one are you likely to obtain? What can be done to speed up the process? Knowing all the details about these visas can help you understand which one you can apply for.

What Is H1B Visa?

H1B visa is commonly referred to as the non-immigrant work visa. To get this visa, you must find an employer in the USA, who will apply for this visa to get you to enter the country and work for the company.

If the application is approved, you get a visa which allows you to work in the United States for that particular employer. According to an H1B visa lawyer from NYC, it’s important to read the visa requirements extensively. For example, many applicants overlook that a potential visa holder must have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to be eligible for the visa.

The cost of H1B visa application varies from $1,570 to $2,320. You can speed up the process by paying a premium processing fee of $1,225.

If a visa holder has a spouse and/or children, they can also stay in the United States for the duration of his or her visa. However, the dependents need to apply for an H4 visa.

The visa holder can apply for a green card. The employment time with H1B visa is limited to 6 years.

What Is H2B Visa?

While the H1B visa is issued for permanent workers, an H2B visa is created for temporary workers, employed in non-agricultural industry (agricultural industry workers can apply for H2A visa). The temporary work visa is limited to one year. However, an employer may apply for an extension and prolong the visa up to three years.

It covers non-professional workers, the need for whom occurs occasionally. For example, it could be peak load times, seasonal work or one-time occurrences. Before getting the visa, employees must show their ability to perform the job they are planning to do in the USA.

Just as with H1B visa, the employee’s family and dependents can come with him or her to the USA and stay there for the duration of the visa after applying for the H4 visa. They can attend schools and universities but can’t get a job.

An employee is allowed to change jobs. However, the new employee would need to apply for a new visa on his or her behalf.

The filing fee for the visa application is $460. If you want to speed up the process, you can choose a premium processing fee of $1,835.

H1B vs H2B Visa

The key difference between the two visas is the purpose each one is obtained for. The H1B visa allows an employee to have a permanent position and stay in the USA up to 6 years. The H2B visa is designed for temporary projects and allows staying in the country for up to 3 years.

A cap exists for both visas. The cap for the H1B visa is 65,000. The cap for the H2B visa is 66,000. Workers extending their stay in the United States are usually exempt from the cap.


H1B and H2B visas are completely different. Depending on your employment plans in the USA, you have to choose one or another. Both visas are applied for by the employer and require a special approach. It’s better to get professional assistance to make sure no mistakes are made during the application process.


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