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H-2A VISA Temporary Agricultural Workers
The H-2A visa is a non-immigrant visa designed to help temporary or seasonal agricultural workers enter the US in order to work in the agriculture sector. Temporary agricultural workers are those completing work that does not take more than one year to complete. While seasonal agricultural workers are workers completing specific seasonal tasks.
Period of Stay
H-2A Visa expiration dates are authorized on the temporary labor certification with the possibility to extend in 1-year increments up to 3 years (maximum stay).
To be eligible for the H-2A visa, you must:
- Find a US job offering temporary/seasonal agricultural work
- Proof the applicant plans to return home after the completion of the specified work
- The applicant is from an approved county
If you are not from an approved country, it is still possible to obtain an H-2A visa. A US employer will need to contact the Department of Homeland Security with your name, date of birth, country of birth, and country of citizenship. They will also need to provide evidence that the US will benefit from providing the requested visa. Homeland Security will then evaluate the request and possibly update the approved countries list.
To qualify, the petitioner must:
- Offer a job that is temporary or seasonal
- Demonstrate that there are not enough US workers who are able, willing, qualified, to do the work
- Show that employing H-2A workers will not affect the wages of other US workers
- Generally need to submit a single valid temporary labor certification from the US Department of Labor with the H-2A petition.
How to Apply – Applicant’s Steps
Before the applicant files for an H-2A visa, the employer/petitioner completes a few steps. Once this has been completed, the applicant must complete the following steps:
Step 1: Complete the DS-160 form online
Step 2: Pay the application fee
Step 3: Schedule and complete a visa interview
Step 4: If the application is approved, the applicant needs to apply for visa stamping
How to Apply – Employer’s Steps
There are only 3 steps that an H-2A petitioner must do in order to hire temporary foreign workers in the United States. Those steps include:
Step 1: Submit a temporary labor certification application to the US Department of Labor
Step 2: Submits Form I-129 to USCIS
Step 3: Foreign workers outside the US apply for a visa once the Form I-129 is approved
Family of H-2A Workers
An H-2A worker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant classification. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status.
H-2A Eligible Countries List
H-2A petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the secretary of homeland security has designated, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, as eligible to participate in the H-2A program.
To see if you are qualified, please call us at (602) 636-1200