H-2B Certification Frequently Asked Questions

The H-2B labor certification program establishes a means for U.S. nonagricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers, to bring temporary nonimmigrant foreign workers into the U.S. H-2B eligibility requires that the job and the U.S. employer's need for the foreign worker be of a temporary nature. The need must be for one year or less and can be either a one-time occurrence, seasonal, peakload or intermittent. Temporary employment should not be confused with part-time employment which does not qualify for temporary (or permanent) labor certification.

Valid Length of the H-2B Labor Certification

The H-2B labor certification application shall be valid for the period of employment indicated on the Form ETA 9142; however, in no event shall the validity period exceed more than a year. The employer may apply for re-certification for an additional two years, but on each new application, the employer must justify the reason for the renewal request. H-2B certification is not transferable from one employer to another. Certification is issued only for a specific job opportunity, for a specific number of workers, and for a specific employment period.

Temporary H-2B temporary labor certification

The job must be temporary in nature and the need is for one year or less. The employer's need cannot be ongoing or continuous. The employer has the burden of establishing the facts necessary to support a finding that the need is either a one-time occurrence, seasonal, peakload or intermittent need.

Required Time Frame for Filing an H-2B Temporary Labor Certification Application

Employers are advised to file requests for H-2B certifications no more than 120 days but at least 60 days before certification is needed.

How to file and additional information can be found at:

Administration, funding, oversight, and processing are provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

Contact Information

Kathleen Johnson, Program Manager Workforce Services Division
PO Box 1728
Helena, MT 59624-1728
Phone: (406) 444-2981
Email: Kathyjohnson@mt.gov