Agricultural Worker (H2A)
This kind of visa is available to agricultural workers and are of temporary or seasonal nature. The petitioner must meet the following requirements in order to bring the alien worker under this category:
- It has only temporary need for the type of services or labor to be performed by the aliens
- Workers are not available in the United States who are unemployed
- The alien must have a foreign residence that he or she has no intention of abandoning
- The employer may be an individual proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation
For Answers to Your Personal Questions
Contact a U.S. Immigration Law Expert Today
Applying for the H2A Visa
A U.S. employer must file the petition. An individual cannot file such visa. The first step is to file Labor certification at least 45 days before the day on which workers are needed with the DOL to determine the availability of U.S. workers and to determine if the employment of alien will adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed workers in the United States. An H2A certification is valid for up to 364 days
Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of H-2Aworkers are entitled to H-4 status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may not be employed under the H-4 classification. To work in the United States they need to change their status to a nonimmigrant category for which employment is authorized.
Stay and Extensions
Such visas are valid for a period up to one year. Extension of H-2A visa may be granted for a total of three years, however, after that if extension is sought, the alien must remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of six months. An extension may be authorized for the validity of the labor certification or for a period of up to one year. The employer is required to seek certification of the DOL regarding the continued unavailability of the United States workers during each extension that is sought.