H-2 Visa Program

H-2 Visa Program

Under the H-2 visa program, applicants can legally work temporarily in the United States in agriculture, construction, forestry, landscaping, and many other types of industries. The H-2A visa is for temporary agricultural work while the H-2B visa is for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work.

Note: If you are a Salvadoran citizen who is not the beneficiary of a petition but are interested in learning more about how to obtain a legal job under the USAID Economic Competitiveness Project, click HERE or if you are a U.S. company seeking workers, click HERE.

Step 1. Be identified by a U.S. company as the subject of an H-2 petition.

You must be a beneficiary of a petition filed by the U.S. employer. A real job offer must include a contract with the description of the job to be performed and the salary, the name and location of the company, and a request number. If you find a job offer, you can verify its validity with us by sending an email to DenunciasSV@state.gov. Please pay attention to these recommendations to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Step 2. Review your employment contract and confirm that the request is valid.

Review the details of your job offer to see what kind of job you were offered and how much you will be paid. You must receive a written employment contract that you understand in your native language. The contract must contain detailed information about wages, working hours, benefits (including transportation, housing, and meals or cooking facilities), and any deductions from your paycheck. Remember that you are entitled to receive a fair wage. A job offer without such details can be a sign of fraud. H-2 visas are petition-based visas, which means that the employer in the United States must first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before scheduling appointments for workers. You can verify the legitimacy of the petition by sending an email to DenunciasSV@state.gov

Step 3. Apply for your H-2 visa with the U.S. Embassy.

It is necessary for the Embassy to have all your information to begin your application process.

First, create a user profile by clicking this link; then click on “New User.” Complete the required information fields and create a password.

Second, complete the DS-160 application form. It is important to tell the truth in your request. If applicable, you must list previous arrests regardless of the outcome, the length of previous stays in the United States, and any attempts you made to cross the U.S. border. These activities do not necessarily disqualify you from the H-2 visa program. Even if someone assists you to complete the form, ultimately it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all the information contained in the application is complete and correct.

Third, make the visa fee payment, which is $190 USD. You can do so at any Punto Express agency. Please remember to keep the payment confirmation number to complete the process.

Fourth, log into your profile and click on the “Schedule Appointment” option located on the right side of the screen. Have the following information on hand: passport number used to fill out form DS-160, confirmation number of your consular fee payment, and the 10-digit bar code of your DS-160 application form. In our system, you can enter your personal information, select your visa type, and select a Cargo Express branch to send and pick up your documents.

Step 4. Send your documents to the Consular Section.

Go to the Cargo Express branch that you selected in our system and submit the following documents:

2 copies of the interview waiver confirmation sheet. One of these copies must be placed on the outside of the envelope in which you present the documents.
Valid passport
Previous passport if your last visa is not in your current passport.
DS-160 Form Confirmation Sheet
1 passport type photograph (Must be in color, 5cm x 5cm, white background, taken not more than 6 months prior to your application)
Copy of the approved petition (I-797), and, if you have ever stayed beyond the expiration of your visa, provide copies of all approved or pending extensions of stay (I-129).

Cargo Express will send the documents to the Consular Section of this Embassy free of charge. Your passport will be returned in the same manner to the Cargo Express branch that you selected earlier in the application process.

Step 5. If required, attend your interview at the U.S. Embassy.

The Consular Section will contact you via email to schedule you for an interview, if one is required. It is important to tell the truth during your interview. You should mention any previous arrests regardless of the outcome, the length of previous stays in the United States, and any attempts you made to cross the U.S. border. These activities do not necessarily disqualify you from the H-2 visa program. However, concealing prior unlawful presence, crossing attempts, or arrests will likely result in visa denial and may result in permanent visa ineligibility.

Step 6. Retrieve your passport at Cargo Express.

If your visa is approved, the Cargo Express office will notify you via email and will provide you your passport and visa, with which you can travel and apply for admission to the U.S. port of entry as an H-2 worker.

Information on Temporary Worker Visas – Know Your Rights

Information on Temporary Worker Visas – Know Your Rights

With the H-2 visa program, you have the same rights as every worker in the United States.  You should be paid on time, receive extra pay for overtime work, and receive good treatment and clean housing.

Information for Employers/Petitioners in the United States

Information for Employers/Petitioners in the United States

H-2 visas are petition-based visas, meaning that a U.S. employer must obtain a temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor and receive a Notice of Approval (I-797B) of the petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before scheduling a visa appointment for its workers with the Department of State.

Salvadoran Workers Seeking Employment in the US through the USAID Economic Competitiveness Project for El Salvador

Salvadoran Workers Seeking Employment in the U.S. trough ESCP

Steps for petitioners already assigned Salvadoran workers to take to schedule H2 visa appointments for their workers.

Petitioners Seeking to Find Salvadoran Workers Through Palladium/USAID

Petitioners Seeking to Find Salvadoran Workers Through Palladium/USAID

Steps for petitioners to take who wish to work through Palladium/USAID to find Salvadoran workers.