H-2A Visas For Temporary Agricultural Workers
Our immigration attorneys at Wilson Law Group in Minneapolis regularly help employers with unique employee and staffing needs obtain temporary nonimmigrant visas for workers. We have experience helping agricultural companies obtain H-2A temporary agricultural visas for agricultural workers.
What Is The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa?
The H-2A temporary agricultural visa enables agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the United States to perform agricultural services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services can approve an employer’s petition for such workers, the employer must file an application (“Temporary Labor Certification”) with the U.S. Department of Labor stating that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available, and that the employment of foreign nationals will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
Once approved by USDOL and USCIS, the intended beneficiaries may apply for H-2A visa at a U.S. Consulate in their home countries. An H-2A visa may only be approved for nationals of specific designated countries.
What Is A ‘Seasonal’ Need For An H-2A Visa?
Employment is considered to be of a seasonal nature where it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle, and requires labor levels above what is necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of a temporary nature when the employer’s need to fill the position with a temporary worker will, except in extraordinary circumstances, last no longer than one year.
How Long Is The H-2A Visa Valid?
USCIS may grant H-2A validity for up to the period of time authorized on the Temporary Labor Certification. H-2B status may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to one year each. A new, valid Temporary Labor Certification covering the requested time must accompany each extension request. The maximum period of stay in H-2A classification is three years. A person who has held H-2B status for a total of three years must depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three months before seeking readmission as an H-2B. Additionally, previous time spent in other H or L classifications counts toward total H-2A time.
Family Members Of An H-2A Visa Worker And H-4 Nonimmigrant Status
The spouse of an H-2A worker and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission by petitioning for H-4 nonimmigrant status. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status, but can attend school. Our attorneys regularly help employers and employees with employment immigration and visa needs.
Schedule A Free Consultation
If you have questions about whether an H-2A nonimmigrant visa is suitable for you or your company, please contact us by calling 612-430-8022 or sending an email through our website to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.