Agricultural Workers in the USA
Opportunities are largely available for you to work in the United States, especially when you are seeking out agricultural work.
The H-2A Visa is a nonimmigrant visa program that allows low-skill, temporary, or seasonal workers to seek employment in the U.S. The H2A visa allows U.S. employers and U.S. agents that meet specific requirements to employ foreign nationals and bring them to the U.S. to take up temporary agricultural jobs.
What is an H-2A Visa
The H-2A program allows US employers or US agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. A US employer, a US agent, or an association of US agricultural producers named as a joint employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on a prospective worker’s behalf.
Who May Qualify for H-2A Classification?
To qualify for an H-2A nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner must offer a job that is of a temporary nature, demonstrate that there are not enough US workers who are able to do the work, show that employing H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers, and generally submit a single valid temporary labour certification from the US Department of Labour with the H-2A petition.
H-2A petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the secretary of homeland security has designated, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, as eligible to participate in the H-2A program.
What Are the Requirements for H-2A Employers?
Most of the H2A visa requirements related to your U.S. employer (who will be your H2A visa petitioner) and the specific job they are offering.
Employers must be know that the job being offered has to be seasonal or temporary in nature, the petitioner will have to demonstrate there aren't enough US workers able, willing, or qualified to do the work, the petitioner must show that employing you as an H2-A worker will not affect the working conditions or wages of similarly employed US workers, and the US Department of Labour will have to issue a single valid temporary labour certificate, which will form part of the H2-A petition.
H-2A Program Process
Before you can apply for an H2A visa, you have to have a job offer from an employer in the U.S. Make sure you review your work contract carefully and check that the offer and the employer’s petition is valid.
Your employer must submit a temporary labor certification application to the U.S. Department of Labor. They will then receive a temporary labor certification for H2A workers from the department of labor. After this, your employer can request H2A classification from the USCIS.
Your employer must then submit the Form I-129 to the USCIS after receiving the temporary labor certification for H2A employment from the Department of Labor.
How to Apply for the H-2A Visa
Once the USCIS has approved the Form I-129, you can apply for the H2A visa from within your home country. You must apply for the H2A visa with the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Complete the Form DS-160 and submit it online. Then schedule your H2A interview appointment at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
In some cases, you will have to also attend a biometrics appointment.
At the H2A interview, you will need to show you are qualified to do the job, you have sufficient ties to your home country (so you can show your intention to return) and that you will not overstay your visa in the U.S. The consular officer conducting your interview can ask you questions about your family that remains in your home country, your employment history, any property or businesses that you own, and your financial resources.
You will have to attend this interview alone. Your lawyer or recruiter can’t attend the interview with you.