How to Meet Employer Requirements for the H-2A Program
The H-2A program sets a number of requirements that employers must meet in order to legally employ temporary workers from other countries. These requirements are not always straightforward, but this does not have to be an obstacle. Our team has a detailed understanding of these requirements, how to meet them, and how to accurately document the process. We can help explain these requirements in detail, so you can make an informed decision about hiring temporary workers. We will also help you meet these requirements in an organized and cost-effective way.
What Are Employer Requirements for H-2A?
The H-2A program is intended to help farmers and other agricultural business owners fill seasonal labor gaps by hiring workers outside the U.S., but without narrowing the job market for locals. This means employers have responsibilities to fulfill, both to locals and to potential incoming workers. These include: recruiting qualified and available domestic labor, paying immigration application and filing fees, providing transportation and accommodations for foreign workers en route to your location, and providing housing for workers who cannot reasonably return home each day while working at your farm or orchard.
Employer requirements for H-2A visas can seem daunting at first. However, our experienced team specializes in understanding and fulfilling these requirements, and we can make this process simple. To give you a better understanding of employer requirements, here are some of the basics you should know.
Requirements for the Job
The H-2A program is only available for certain jobs. The job must be agricultural in nature and it must be temporary, generally lasting less than one year. This includes jobs involved in planting, cultivation, and harvest for many types of crops.
Requirements to Request Domestic Labor
Employers seeking seasonal or temporary labor must first make an effort to employ local job-seekers. Our team can help you fulfill this requirement according to official regulations and ensure that you are eligible for the H-2A program.
Hiring and employing foreign workers requires several applications and associated processing fees. We can take care of this process for you, and the fees will be factored into the total costs of hiring and training workers. This includes the labor certification application fee, USCIS petition fee, and consulate fee, among others.
In the H-2A program, employers are responsible for securing transportation for workers from their home country to the job site. However, we can take care of this for you. We will make sure that qualified workers make it safely to your location. Since we specialize in international travel, we make this process as cost-effective as possible.
Housing, Meals and Transportation
Since foreign workers obviously will not have a place to stay during their temporary employment, employers are required to provide this. Employers must treat foreign and domestic workers equally, so employers must also offer this benefit to any domestic worker who is unable to reasonably return home each day. This employer requirement of the H-2A program can be fulfilled in many ways. Workers may stay in off-site rental housing, housing owned by the business, or housing contracted with another business.
The employer is also responsible for either providing three meals a day to workers or providing adequate meal preparation areas. Finally, if housing is off-site, the employer must provide transportation, as well as transportation to grocery stores or other needs.
Concerns Meeting Employer Requirements
Employer requirements for the H-2A program can seem complex at first. However, you do not have to manage these requirements by yourself. We have successfully processed hundreds of H-2A applications and helped dozens of farms and orchards in Michigan get the temporary workforce they need. If you have questions about the H-2A program and requirements, we can help.