An In-Depth Look at the H-2A Visa Program

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An In-Depth Look at the H-2A Visa Program

farmers working

If you’re a farm owner who’s looking for temporary or seasonal farm workers for cultivation, plantation, and harvesting of crops then you need to understand the H-2A visa program.

The H-2A is a recruitment program that allows agricultural employers to hire foreign workers temporarily for agricultural jobs.



What Are the Requirements to Qualify for H-2A Classification?

For hiring foreign farmworkers, the agricultural employers first need to file a petition i.e. Form I-123. To qualify, the employer must;

  • Ensure that the nature of the job should be seasonal or temporary.
  • Demonstrate that local workers aren’t available, willing, eligible, or qualified for the job.
  • Exhibit that the recruitment of foreign individuals won’t negatively impact the salary and work environment for the local workers.
  • Acquire certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to recruit foreign farmworkers, and submit it with the H-2A petition.



How Does the H-2A Program Work?

The H-2A program involves the following steps.

Step 1

First, the petitioner has to submit a temporary labor certification application to the Department of Labor in the US. You can learn more about it from Foreign Labor Certification, Department of Labor.


Step 2

After obtaining the certification, you can file the petition for H-2A classification, by submitting Form I-129 to USCIS. Typically, the petitions need to submit the temporary labor certification along with the form. There’re, however, certain conditions, where it’s not a mandatory requirement.


Step 3

In the 3rd step, the prospective employees submit their visa application to work in the US. Once the employer acquires approval on the petition form, the prospective need to submit their H-2A visa application with the U.S. Department of State to a US embassy in their residential country and seek admission to America with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

They can, however, also pursue admission to the US at a US port of entry in H-2A classification, if they’re not required to submit the visa.



What Is the Period of Stay in H-2A Classification?

Typically, USCIS awards H-2A classification for the period accredited to the employer on the temporary labor certification. However, the period can be extended up to a year upon the submission of the extension request. Still, the maximum period of stay is 3 years.

Upon the completion of 3 years, the worker with H-2A non-immigrant status needs to spend at least 3 months outside the US, to request readmission to the US as an H-2A non-immigrant.



Legal Assistance for H-2A Classification

a pile of folders

The procedure for H-2A classification is complex and multifaceted. It involves extensive documentation and a lot of paperwork.

Farm Aid H-2A LLC is an H-2A employment agency in Williston, USA. We can provide you with legal consultancy in seasonal farm labor recruitment.

We have a team of professional lawyers who can handle all the paperwork to simplify the procedure for you. Feel free to contact us if you need help in migrant farm labor recruitment.

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