The H2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

H2A Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

  • Foreign agricultural workers with job offers from U.S. companies
  • U.S. companies hiring foreign workers to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature

H2A Visa Benefits

  1. You can enter the U.S. for temporary work and enjoy all employee benefits
  2. Your dependents can stay with you in the U.S.
  3. You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. on the H2A visa
  4. You can change jobs if you can show a new job offer

H2A Visa Requirements

A. Criteria For Determining Employer’s Eligibility

1.The following general categories of individuals or organizations may import foreign workers under the H2A visa:

a.An agricultural employer who anticipates a shortage of U.S. workers needed to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature

b.The employer may be an individual proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation. An association of agricultural producers may file as a sole employer, a joint employer with its members, or as an agent of its members

c.An authorized agent, whether an individual (e.g., an attorney) or an entity (e.g., an association), may file an application on behalf of an employer. Associations may file master applications on behalf of their members

2.The employer must satisfy the following conditions to import foreign workers under the H2A visa:

a.Recruitment: The employer must engage in independent positive recruitment of U.S. workers. This means an active effort, including newspaper and radio advertising in areas of expected labor supply. Such recruitment must be at least equivalent to that conducted by non-H2A agricultural employers to secure U.S. workers

b.Wages: The wage or rate of pay must be the same for U.S. workers and H2A workers. The rate must also be at least as high as the applicable Adverse Effect Wage Rate or the applicable prevailing wage rate, whichever is higher

c.Housing: The employer must provide free and approved housing to all workers who are not able to return to their residences the same day

d.Meals: The employer must provide either three meals a day to each worker or furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen facilities for workers to prepare their own meals. If meals are provided, then the employer may charge each worker a certain amount per day for the three meals

e.Transportation: The employer is responsible for the following different types of transportation of workers:

i.After a worker has completed 50 per cent of the work contract period, the employer must reimburse the worker for the cost of transportation and subsistence from the place of recruitment to the place of work

ii.The employer must provide free transportation between any required housing site and the worksite for any worker who is eligible for such housing

iii.Upon completion of the work contract, the employer must pay return transportation or transportation to the next job

f.Workers’ Compensation Insurance: The employer must provide Workers’ Compensation or equivalent insurance for all workers. Proof of insurance

g.Tools and Supplies: The employer must furnish at no cost to the seasonal agricultural workers all tools and supplies necessary to carry out the work, unless it is common practice for the workers to provide certain items

h.Three-fourths Guarantee: The employer must guarantee to offer each worker employment for at least three-fourths of the workdays in the work contract period and any extensions

i.Fifty per cent rule: The employer must employ any qualified U.S. worker who applies for a job until 50 per cent of the contract period has elapsed.

j.Labor Dispute: The employer must assure that the job opportunity for which the employer is requesting H2A certification is not vacant due to a strike or lockout.

k.Certification Fee: A fee will be charged to an employer granted temporary alien agricultural labor certification

l.Other Conditions: The employer must keep accurate records with respect to a worker’s earnings. The worker must be provided with a complete statement of hours worked and related earnings on each payday. The employer must pay the worker at least twice monthly or more frequently if it is the prevailing practice. A copy of the work contract must be provided by the employer to each worker

B. Criteria For Determining Employee’s Eligibility

You are eligible for the H2A seasonal agricultural workers visa provided:

  1. You have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work
  2. You intend to return to your home country on the expiration of the visa

H2A Visa Notes

  • To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on an H2A visa, you must change your visa status.
  • The information provided here is applicable to New H2A Visa and H2A Extension.

H2A Visa Fees

Filing Fee – Regular $270

Processing Time 3-6 WeekS