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Helping Employers Obtain Temporary Visas for Agricultural Workers

Many agricultural enterprises need a significant amount of workers to keep operations going, though many companies have a difficult time filling their staffing needs. The H-2A visa allows for agricultural companies in the United States to sponsor foreign workers to join the agriculture industry, filling a specific need for both U.S. companies and foreign workers.

However, if you are an employer seeking agricultural workers, it is important to understand the procedures to obtain this type of visa, as well as the limitations of the visa. You should always discuss the matter with an experienced H-2A visa lawyer to avoid any unnecessary complications or penalties. Contact the legal team of Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. for more information today.

Overview of the H-2A Visa

This is not a self-petitioned visa, and employers seeking to use foreign agricultural workers must apply for the H-2A visa for the desired employees. Employers sponsoring this type of visa can be a corporation, partnership, an agricultural association, or even self-employed.

When someone receives an H-2A visa to come to the United States to work on a temporary basis, their immediate family members may also qualify to join them. An H-2A worker’s spouse and children who are younger than 21-years-old and not married can qualify for a temporary visa under the H-4 status. If dependents of the H-2A worker wish to work themselves, they must qualify for their own type of work visa.

The H-2A visa is only valid for the length of the temporary labor certification on the application. However, employers may extend the visa for one-year periods. After three years of H-2A status, the visa holder must leave the United States for at least three months before seeking admission on an H-2A visa again in the future.

Steps for Employers

Employers should always be sure to closely abide by the procedures for H-2A visas to prevent any problems. It can be beneficial to consult with a law firm that regularly handles this type of visa application and process. Some steps of the process include:

  • File an application for Temporary Labor Certification with the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL will check to make sure an employer meets all necessary requirements, which include proving that no workers in the U.S. are available to fill the positions.
  • Once approved, the employer must try to recruit U.S. workers. The DOL can then approve the remaining open positions that could not be filled from within the U.S. for H-2A workers.
  • Employers will then need to petition for the approved number of H-2A visas with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Foreign workers will then apply for their visas to the U.S. Consulate in their home countries.

Only once this entire process is complete can a temporary agricultural worker enter the United States and begin working.

Contact Our H-2A Visa Lawyers for More Information Today

If any steps of the complex process are missed, companies can face penalties and foreign workers can face harsh immigration consequences, including deportation. Always complete the H-2A visa process with the help of an Iowa immigration attorney from Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Call (512) 894-2128 or contact us online today.

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