H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Visa


H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Visa

H-2A temporary agricultural work visas are for individuals in other countries who wish to come to the United States for a fixed period of employment. The prospective employer will file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the visa can be issued.

Temporary worker visas are available in many designations dependent on the type of work the individual will be doing for the employer. A detailed list and explanation can be found via this link. Many companies look to hire seasonal workers from other countries for specific jobs.

Navigating the paperwork and regulations can be difficult, especially the first time out, so hiring an attorney who specializes in immigration and seasonal work visas is highly recommended.

H-2A Temporary Work Visas for Agricultural Workers

The H-2A work visa is for foreign nationals who are coming to the United States to fill temporary openings in agricultural jobs. The required Form I-129 is a Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers and must be filed by either a U.S. agent as stated in the regulations, a U.S. employer, or an association of U.S. agricultural producers (named as a joint employer), on behalf of the prospective worker.

The petitioning employer must meet the following qualifications for the temporary work visa:

  • The job offered must be of a seasonal or temporary nature.
  • Demonstrate that not enough qualified, willing, able, and available U.S. workers exist to do the prospective temporary work.
  • Demonstrate that by hiring temporary H-2A workers it will not have an adverse effect on working conditions and wages of U.S. workers who are similarly employed.
  • Submit a U.S. Department of Labor valid single temporary labor certification along with the H-2A petition. (Seeg., 8CFR 214.2(h)(5)(x) for details about the limited exception that certain “emergent circumstances” brings to this requirement.)

Only nationals from certain countries may participate in the H-2A visa program, and you can find the current list of eligible countries effective Jan. 18, 2017 at the USCIS.Gov website.

How long may someone work with an H-2A classification?

The initial authorized period of time of the H-2A classification will show on the temporary labor certificate and can be extended based on qualifying employment in increments of no more than 1 year. Each extension request will require a new, valid temporary labor certification. The maximum time that a person can stay within the H-2A classification is 3 years, and after that, the individual must depart the US for a period of 3 uninterrupted months before seeking re-certification as an H-2A nonimmigrant.

Time previously spent in H or L classifications will count towards the individual’s total H-2A time. Some exceptions, including time spent outside the United States, may not count as part of the 3-year limit.

The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may seek H-4 nonimmigrant classification admission to the United States but are not eligible for employment with that status.

This is only a small portion of what you need to know about 10, and the law offices of Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL, can help you navigate the paperwork and procedures to facilitate your needs. Please contact us at (954) 344-7737 for answers to all of your immigration questions.

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