The worker admitted to the United States in this visa category is a temporary worker hired to fill a position for which the employer has a temporary need.
To hire foreign workers in H-2B status, the employer can have a recurring seasonal need, an intermittent need, a "peak-load" need, or a need based on a one-time occurrence.
The crucial and distinguishing requirement is that the employer's need for the worker's skills are temporary. The worker may not temporarily fill a position for which the employer has an ongoing or permanent need. Seasonal agricultural workers are not included in this category.
An example would be in the that an employer needs the temporary services of a group of programmers to design programs for a computer system and to work through any problems in installation. These programmer positions are not permanent positions, rather they represent a short-term need by the employer for start-up of a new system. Or take the case where a manufacturing company wishes to utilize a new production technique prevalent in the United Kingdom. It wants to bring in a UK. production manager who will train the company's managerial personnel in the technique. This production manager will not be filling a permanent position, but rather satisfying a temporary need for the employer, ie a trainer.
Once the training is complete, the temporary position filled by the foreign national ill terminate. As a first step in obtaining H-2B status for foreign workers, the U.S. employer must file a request for labor certification with the Department of Labor. The request can cover one worker, or a number of workers filling the same position who will be working at the same location.
The employer then files the non-immigrant visa petition with the USCIS, along with the approved labor certification.
Following approval of the petition, the final step in the process is when the foreign national takes the petition approval notice to a U.S. consulate to apply for the H-2B visa permitting admission to the United States.