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What’s the H-2A Program? How can it help farmers get legal affordable labor?

January 8, 2020 in Agriculture Labor Agriculture News Employer Work Visas Employment Immigration US Immigration Law

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Can I get legal labor and still abide by US immigration laws?

The H-2A program allows farmers who employ individuals in the United States to hire foreign employees to fill temporary labor jobs, according to US immigration laws.

For the position to qualify with H-2A workers, the employer must:

  • Provide a job that is temporary or seasonal.
  • Demonstrate that there are not enough workers in the United States who are capable, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary labor.
  • Demonstrate that employing workers on H-2A visas did not affect the wages and working conditions of American workers in similar positions.
  • Obtain a certification from the Department of Labor (DOL).

H-2A program process.

  1. The Petitioner (employer) applies for a temporary labor certification for H-2A workers with the Department of Labor (DOL)
  2. The petitioner submits the immigration form I-129 to USCIS, with additional paperwork according to the filing instructions and the original temporary labor certification from the DOL.
  3. Prospective workers outside the US apply for an H-2A visa at the US Embassy or Consulate to seek admission presenting the proper immigration form.

The workers for the H-2A program must be eligible to participate according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to see a full list you can visit the USCIS website.

USCIS normally grants H-2A classification for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification.  H-2A classification may be extended in increments of up to 1 year each.

According to the US immigration laws, a worker can hold an H-2A nonimmigrant status for a maximum period of 3 years. After this period the worker must leave the country and remain outside the US for an uninterrupted period of 3 months before seeking readmission. There are very specific rules about the time of stay for the workers and how to count it, you can find the information to calculate how long your temporary labor worker can stay on the USCIS website.

We know that the process to obtain workers may seem daunting, but with the help of a top immigration law firm, this process can be very effective and cost-efficient to cover your farm labor needs.

If you want more information about starting your H2A program, call us and schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyers to discuss your specific needs. Phone (770)-422-4241 or info@ffbfirm.com

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