Despite the lengthy application process, the H-2B program provides crucial support to clubs across the country.
From the golf course to the kitchen, a club thrives because of its temporary team of workers that assist throughout the year. The H-2B program is a visa offered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and US Citizens and Immigration Services that allows non-immigrant workers to fill in short-term jobs outside of the agricultural industry.
The H-2B application process can be quite extensive and the details of the law are frequently changing, so it’s important to check for updates before proceeding. However, there are a few steadfast details to understand about how to hire H-2B workers at a club.
Post the Position
Before hiring an employee from one of the eligible H-2B countries, a club must open the position to US citizens with the help of the DOL. When the position cannot be filled by employees at home, the application will be passed on to the US Citizens and Immigration Services to begin the H-2B application process.
Meet the Requirements
Not all types of positions at the club qualify for H-2B visas. For example, in all cases, the role must be full-time—or at least 35 hours a week. The role must also check one of the following boxes:
- Seasonal: The position runs up to nine months
- One-Time Occurrence: The club will not need this specific position again. Visas can be renewed each year for up to three years.
- Peak-load Need: Additional employees are needed for a short time.
- Intermittent Need: The club occasionally requires full-time work.
When a club applies for an H-2B visa, it must also prove that the position will receive all the privileges of a US employee. For example, the role must pay the prevailing hourly rate (local, state, or federal, whichever is highest), fall within overtime laws, and follow all the same safety protocol on the job.
The DOL website suggests filing the job 75-90 days before you have a need for the employee, but expedited options for the petition are available for a fee. For this reason, it’s important for clubs and resorts to think ahead to their next peak season to set the H-2B process in motion.