A Guide To Applying For An H-2A Visa For Workers And Employers
September 9th, 2020, By CJ T.

In order for seasonal workers to be able to work on your farm, they’ll need to have a temporary visa. You might have a few questions after hearing about this, such as how to apply and when to apply. Luckily for you, this article is here to teach you how to apply for an H-2A Visa whether you’re a worker or an employer.

What Is An H-2A Work Visa?

An H-2A visa, to put it simply, is a work visa for temporary workers that aren’t going to immigrate into the country. H-2A visas are purely for agricultural workers. The visa also helps the government verify how many workers are in the United States. The visa is a requirement in order to have foreign workers on your farm. If you don’t have this visa for all of your temporary workers, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble.

What Are The Rules Surrounding H-2A Visas?

The first rule that employers should know about revolves around qualification. If an employer has laid-off U.S. workers within 60 days preceding application, they cannot qualify. The employer must pay the foreign workers the highest of the state’s requirements for the type of work being completed. For example, if the state minimum wage is higher than the AEWR then the employer must pay the employees the state minimum wage. T

he employer must also write the dates that the employee is going to work from, the location in which they’re going to work, and the type of work that they are going to be completing. This must be completed by the time that the employee applies for the H-2A. The employer is required to pay the worker for at least 3/4 (75%) of the days agreed upon in the visa. The employer is also required to provide housing and transportation to the employee at no cost to the worker.

How To Apply For An H-2A Visa

In order to apply for a visa, the worker in question needs to have an offer from an existing US employer. There are three basic steps to the application process. The steps are quick and easy. The approval process may range in length.

First, the employer must notify the US Department of Labor that there are no available US workers for the job. Once this is confirmed the employer will receive a temporary labor certification. This allows the employer to look for foreign laborers.

Next, the employer must file an I-129 petition for nonimmigrant workers with the USCIS. The employer must make a note of which country the worker is from. Mentioning the worker by name is not necessary. This step is key when it comes to getting an H-2A visa approved as it will let the government bodies know that the worker isn't permanent.

Finally, once the I-129 is approved, the worker files for an H-2A. Once the H-2A is approved the worker can begin working. The foreign worker is allowed to work for the time that was given on the application. They can work no longer than that time.