The Eligibility Criteria for the H-2A Visa Program

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The Eligibility Criteria for the H-2A Visa Program

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H-2A Visa Program allows companies in the United States to bring in foreign workers to meet their demand for qualified labor. However, for an employer to be eligible for the H-2A Visa Program, there is a list of requirements that need to be checked off first.

Here are all the things required for you to be eligible for the program.



Labor Certification from the Department of Labor

The first step in the program is to get a temporary labor certification from the department of labor. According to the Title 8 of the US Code, Chapter 12 Section 1188, the petition for non-immigrant workers will not be passed until the petitioner has applied for a temporary labor certification.

Proving the following will make you eligible for the certificate.


Temporary or Seasonal Job

The employment for which the workers are hired must be temporary or seasonal. As the program provides workers with a temporary work permit, the nature of the job should match the type of permit being issued.


Lack of Labor Availability

Prove that there isn’t enough labor available that is willing, able, and qualified for the job at the required time and place. This may not be difficult to prove as there has been a serious lack of agricultural labor in the country for decades.


No Adverse Impact on US workers

Ensure that hiring foreign farm help will have no adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of other US farm labor.



Conditions for Denial of Labor Certification

There are certain things that can cause your labor certification to be denied.


Strike due to Labor Dispute

If your labor has called a strike due to any labor dispute, this will make you ineligible for labor certification as the real issue isn’t a lack of workers’ availability.


Past Violation of Labor Certification

If you’ve employed H-2A workers in the past two years and the Secretary of Labor finds out that you violated your past labor certification, after notice and hearing,  you might not be able to receive your certificate.

These violations are mostly concerning the wages and working conditions of the domestic and non-immigrant workers. One such example of this is the case of Hamilton growers, who discriminated against US workers and were even sued for these practices.

A man carrying crops

Insufficient Insurance Assurances

If the employment that the worker has applied for isn’t covered by the State worker’s compensation law, you are required by law to provide insurance to the labor for any disease or injury. The cost of this insurance should be paid by you.

The insurance should cover the entire period the worker is working for you and should provide the same benefits, as provided under the State worker’s compensation law.


Inadequate Recruitment Efforts

You won’t receive your certification if there is sufficient domestic labor available in the area for the specified time, and you haven’t made positive recruitment efforts to hire them.

Once you have received your temporary labor certification, you can now submit your certificate with a petition for non-immigrant workers to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. As soon as you receive your approval, your non-immigrant employees can apply for their H-2A Visas.

This might be a complicated process, especially with the paperwork and the legal procedures. Streamline the process by getting in touch with Farm Aid H-2A LLC. We’re H2A placement service agents who provide recruitment services for farm labor. For more information visit our website.


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