Who is eligible?
Any U.S. agricultural employer that can demonstrate a recurring seasonal or temporary labor need and has a valid Federal ID number can participate. Examples of agricultural industries currently using this program include:
- Hay and straw growers
- Tobacco growers
- Nurseries and greenhouses
- Christmas tree farmers
- Fruit growers and orchardists
- Crop growers
When do I apply?
The H-2A application process generally takes about 90 days. Several program requirements, including worker housing, must be addressed before beginning the application process, which occurs no earlier than 75 days and no later than 60 days before your start date of need.
How does the process work?
Initially, we meet with you for a consultation to determine your employment needs. After this is complete, our team will assist with:
- Applying for a temporary labor certification for H-2 workers with the US Department of Labor
- Filing Form I-129 with US Citizenship and Immigration Services
- Worker processing and scheduling for visa appointments with the US consulate
Is the H-2A program harmful to US workers?
No, employers can only complete the H-2A process after determining that an insufficient number of US workers are available. H-2A employers are legally obligated to give preference to U.S. workers.
How much am I going to pay H-2A workers?
You are required to pay all workers in the H-2A job position (U.S. and foreign) the highest of:
- Your state’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
- The state prevailing hourly wage or piece rate
- An agreed-upon collective bargaining wage rate
- The federal/state minimum wage
In most cases, the AEWR is the applicable hourly wage. DOL updates AEWRs on an annual basis in December or early January, and rates are effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
How long can H-2A workers stay in the US?
H-2A workers can be employed up to 10 consecutive months within a single area of intended employment.