Interested in Becoming a Temporary Agricultural Worker in the United States?
The H-2A program was established to bring foreign workers to the U.S. in order to fill temporary and/or seasonal agricultural jobs which existing American workers are not qualified, willing, or able to take. Only an American employer, agent, or association of American agricultural producers can file a petition on the foreign worker’s behalf.
The petition needs to meet the following requirements:
- Present the foreign worker(s0 with a job opportunity of the temporary or seasonal sort
- Show that there is only a temporary need for the type of labor or services the foreign worker(s) need to perform
- Show that there is an absence of U.S. workers who are willing, able, available, and qualified to perform the temporary job
- Show that the employment of H-2A workers does not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similar American workers
- Foreign workers need to have a foreign residence outside the U.S. without any intention of abandoning
- The employer needs to submit a valid temporary labor certification for the U.S. Department of Labor along with a H-2A petition
Applying for the H-2A Visa
An American employer needs to file USCIS Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with the H supplement on behalf of the foreign worker(s). The first step is for the employer to file a temporary labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor at least 45 days before the day of the foreign worker’s start date for employment. As soon as the temporary labor certification application is approved by the Department of Labor, the next step is for the petitioner to file USCIS Form I-129 along with the H supplement, and the original signed labor certification.
Foreign nationals from the following countries are eligible for an H-2A visa:
H-2A visas are issued for a period of one year. Extensions of H-2A visas may be granted for two additional years, but after the second extension is sought, the foreign worker needs to stay outside the U.S. for an uninterrupted period of three months before applying for an extension.
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