Tag Archives: H2A Visa

How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H2A Agricultural Workers Visa | Legal Thoughts

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published July 11, 2022

How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H2A Agricultural Workers Visa

Legal Thoughts is an audiocast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This episode of Legal Thoughts is an audiocast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed Gladys Marcos, Immigration Law Assistant. The topic of discussion is “How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H2A Agricultural Workers Visa”.

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TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

LEGAL THOUGHTS

COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY: Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Legal Thoughts

My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

Our topic for today is:  “How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H-2A Agricultural Workers Visa?”

Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Johana Powell, Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant, Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant and Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant.

On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our immigration legal assistant, Gladys Marcos will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important immigration topic: “How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H-2A Agricultural Workers Visa?”

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

Good morning everyone.  My name is Gladys Marcos and I am the immigration legal assistant at Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Coleman Jackson, P.C. is a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based right here in Dallas, Texas.

Our first question for you Attorney, is it is widely reported that there is a shortage of agricultural workers in United States, is there any immigration program that allows U.S. Employers or U.S. agents to bring foreign nationals to fill temporary agricultural jobs?

Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Good morning Gladys.

Yes, Section H-2A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs, but employers must meet specific statutory requirements to hire H-2A agricultural workers.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal

Our second question is who can qualify for the H2-A Agricultural Workers Visa?

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

the employer who is the petitioner must offer a job that is of a temporary or seasonal nature; demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work; show that employing H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; and generally submit a single valid temporary labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor with their H-2A Visa petition.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

And how does an employer determine whether or not  they are eligible to participate in the H-2A Agricultural Workers Visa program?

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

Excellent question Gladys:

  • Detailed guidelines for employers are on the Department of Labor’s website. An employer should ask themselves the following questions:
    1. Does our U.S. business involve agriculture, or is our organization an association of agricultural producers?
    2. Do we have full-time work that needs to be performed on a temporary or seasonal basis?
    3. Are we located in the United States?
    4. Do we possess a valid Federal Employer Identification Number issued to us by the United States Department of Treasury?
    5. Do we have the ability to hire, pay, fire, supervise, or control the H2-A agricultural workers that we intend to hire in our business?
    6. Are we intending to use these H2-A agricultural workers in agricultural labor or services such as planting, raising, cultivating, harvesting, or production of agricultural or horticultural commodities?
    7. Are we going to hire these H2-A agricultural workers full time (35 hours per week minimum is considered full time under DOL policies)?
    8. Will we hire these H2-A workers on a seasonal or temporary basis?

U.S. employers must answer questions 1 through 8 in the affirmative.  If the answer to any of the above questions are ‘NO’, then, the U.S. Employer is not eligible to participate in the H-2A Agricultural Workers Visa Program.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

Okay and what is the steps that U.S. employers must take to petition  for foreign nationals under the H2-A Agricultural Workers Visa Program?

Attorney Answer – Question 4:

The H2-A Agricultural Workers Visa process consists of 3 steps as follows:

  • First Step: The U.S. employer must file a temporary labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Second Step: The petitioner must submit the immigration petition Form I-129 with the USCIS along with the Labor Certification received from the U.S. Department of Labor in Step 1; and
  • Third Step: Upon receipt of USCIS Approval Notice of Form I-129; the U.S. employer of the approved Form I-129 must notify the beneficiary (prospective agricultural worker) of the approved Form I-129.  The beneficiary must apply for the H2-A agricultural workers visa and seek admission to the United States at the U.S. Consulates Office in their country.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

Are nationals from all countries of the world permitted to come to the United States under the H2-A agricultural workers visa program?

Attorney Answer – Question 5:

No, nationals permitted to come to the United States under the H2-A agricultural workers visa program are published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  This publication is valid for one year after publication.  U.S. employers are permitted to petition for nationals from countries listed on the then current DHS publication.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

Attorney, you mentioned that the H2-A agricultural workers visa is of a temporary nature; so, for how long, can foreign workers stay in the United States after they enter as H2-A agricultural workers?

Attorney Answer – Question 6:

U.S. employers hiring H2-A agricultural workers and nationals coming on the H2-A agricultural workers visa must understand the temporary nature of this visa and consider the following points that I would like to make right now:

  1. The term of the H2-A agricultural workers visa depends on the period of time authorized by the Department of Labor on the temporary labor certification.
  2. The H2-A agricultural worker visa classification can be extended for qualifying employment incrementally for of up to 1 year each.
  3. A new, valid temporary labor certification covering the requested time must accompany each extension request.
  4. The maximum period of stay in the H2-A agricultural workers visa classification is 3 years.
  5. Nationals who have been in the United States as H-2A agricultural workers for a total of 3 years must depart the United States and remain outside of the United States for an uninterrupted period of 3 months before seeking readmission under the H2-A agricultural workers program.

INTERVIEWER: Gladys Marcos, Immigration Legal Assistant

If a foreign national is admitted under the H2-A agricultural workers visa program, are they allowed to bring their family to the United States?

Attorney Answer – Question 7:

An H-2A worker is allowed to bring their spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years old and unmarried) on the classification H4.  However, these family members are not eligible for employment in the United States under the H4 classification.

Interviewer Wrap-Up

Attorney thank you for this clear and very important presentation on the H2-A agricultural workers visa.  Many American farmers and ranchers  looking for laborers and foreign nationals interested in coming to the United States to work in the agricultural field are likely to find this information useful. For now, thanks for sitting with me and answering my questions today concerning how agricultural workers can work temporarily in the United States!

To our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one please subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen to your podcast.  Everyone take care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

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Attorney Closing Remarks

THIS IS THE END OF “LEGAL THOUGHTS” FOR NOW

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about :  “How to hire temporary agricultural workers on a H-2A Agricultural Workers Visa?”

If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Stay tune!  Watch for a new Legal Thoughts podcast in about two weeks.  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.