H2-A Process and In-take Form
The H2-A temporary agricultural worker visa is a great solution for farmers or farm labor contractors looking to fill gaps left by seasonal shortages in domestic labor. Hiring an H2-A worker must be tied to a temporary purpose or a specific event, such as a predictable portion of a crop’s growing cycle that requires more labor than usual. While the H2-A program is very useful, the paperwork involved can be complicated and tedious. Competent legal representation can prove invaluable when dealing with the multiple government agencies involved in regulating the H2-A visa program.
Department of Labor
The first step of the process is to obtain a seasonal labor certification from the Department of Labor (“DOL”). We will help you prove to the DOL that your operations require temporary workers to service a seasonal/high peak for labor. Also, we will help you prove that no American workers were able and willing to take the jobs. This process takes a minimum of 8 weeks.
After obtaining approval from the DOL, next step of the process is to file an H2-A application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”). We will help you prepare applications for each of your foreign workers and file the petition with USCIS. A properly prepared application can be processed in as little as 3 weeks or can take up to four months. Once your petition is approved, the USCIS will send notifications to the US Consulate office in the home country of the foreign workers so that they can pick up their visas. The visas will be valid for the length of the labor certification which is typically between 2 to 10 months.
After acquiring workers, employers still have responsibilities to keep records, provide reports, and maintain good conditions. Employers must either pay for or reimburse the cost of travel for the incoming H2-A workers and reasonable per-diem. Employers are expected to provide suitable living quarters for the H2-A workers which are subject to inspection from applicable agency. Employer must provide all necessary tools, supplies, and adequate worker’s compensation insurance per each H2-A employee.