Immigration Center of
Ekaterina Mouratova, PA

Agricultural Workers (H-2A visa)

People come to the United States for many different reasons. Some of these reasons are holiday and pleasure oriented, while some are for the purposes of work opportunities within various industries. Regardless of the matter as to the reason for travel to the United States, most people will need a visa to stay for extended periods of time.


The H-2A visa grants permission for an individual to enter the country for a temporary stay for the purposes of agricultural work. It is a seasonal visa and there are different boxes to check before a visa is approved by the government.


The employer choosing to hire foreign employees must fill out a Form I-129, also known as the Petition for Non-immigrant Worker. Some of the things the employer has to make sure of when filling out this document include proof that there is going to be a shortage of workers on home soil, the job is seasonal, and that wages are kept on the same level for both domestic and foreign workers.


The company or agent has to submit a completed petition to the Department of Labor to receive a labor certification for this kind of visa. It is temporary and can be used only for a period specified in the initially filed petition.


Once the I-129 application has been approved by USCIS, the foreign employees have to apply to the US consulate at their home countries to get a visa stamped in their passports.


Employers are required to take care of housing for employees who are not able to go home every day and they must have a meal plan in place as well. Employees can either have a self-catering option or the provision of three meals a day from the employer if housing does not allow for self-catering.


When employees complete three years of work in a temporary agricultural job, they must leave the country for at least three months before becoming eligible for a visa renewal. The number of petitions varies by state, and the data regarding changes and the progression of visas and petitions granted every year is available to view online.


The services of an immigration lawyer should be sought to help make the application process more comfortable with regards to your time and effort. Talking to an immigration attorney can help the employer and the employee to understand all legal requirements involved in the process of bringing foreign agricultural employees to the United States. It may be essential to involve the services of an immigration attorney as the rules are strict and applications will take valuable time to go through the system. Having help from an immigration attorney will be an investment that pays off.

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