Everything You Should Know About the H-2A Program

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Everything You Should Know About the H-2A Program

Farmworker working in a farm

Hiring migrant workers under the H-2A program can be a complex legal process, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. You need to meet certain requirements in order to hire migrant farmworkers.

There may even be certain rules and regulations that you miss out on. To make the process easier, here is everything you should know about the H-2A Program.


Eligibility Criteria

For you to qualify for the H-2A program, you must:

  • Offer a job of a temporary or seasonal nature
  • Prove that there aren’t sufficient workers that are qualified, willing, and able to do the job in the required time and place.
  • Prove that hiring migrant workers will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of domestic labor.


Blue sky and green farm

The Application Process

The application process can be divided into three steps:

  1. Apply for Temporary Labor Certification to the Department of Labor. This certificate will later be submitted along with your petition for nonimmigrant workers to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Submit Form I-129 along with the original temporary labor certification.
  3. Once your application has been approved, you can now ask your prospective employees to apply for their H-2A visas at US Embassy and Consulates.


Your Application for Temporary Labor Certification can be Rejected

Although applying for temporary labor certification might seem like an easy process, there are certain conditions under which your certification may be denied. Here is what might make you ineligible:

  • Strike or Lockout due to a Labor Dispute
  • Prior violation of labor certification with respect to domestic and immigrant workers
  • Insufficient assurance regarding offering employee insurance
  • Lack of positive recruitment efforts in an area where workers are available


There is an Approved List of Countries

The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for publishing the list of eligible countries. There are eighty-one countries on the list for this year. If you want the DHS to add a country to the list, you can send them a written request. These listings are valid for a year.


Family of H-2A Workers Can Accompany Them

Family of H-2A workers, which includes their spouse and unmarried children under 21, can accompany them under H-4 visa classification, but they won’t be eligible to work in the US.


Staying Period

The maximum period that a worker can stay is three years. The initial period of stay is usually mentioned on the labor certification. This period can be extended in increments of up to 1 year. Each increment will require a new labor certificate.

Appling for H-2A program can be a long and tedious process, especially when you don’t have any prior experience. Let the experts of the H-2A program help you. If you want to recruit migrant workers, contact Farm Aid H-2A LLC. We’re H2A placement service agents in Williston, FL, providing recruitment services for farm labor. For more information visit our website.

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