LaborQuest USA provides H2A guest worker programs for growers, farmers, harvesters, and garden centers in the agricultural business. Typical H2A Program job titles for these employers typically include: field workers, farm laborers, field laborers, pickers, packers, and harvesters.
As your Partner, we carry as much of the load for our clients as possible, but the H-2A Agricultural approval process does require employer involvement, particularly at the start.
H2A Visa Details
The H2A visa is for individuals who will be employed as temporary, seasonal farm workers. The H2A visa may be issued for a period up to ten months, or sometimes one year. There is no numerical limit to the number of H2A visas issued. A single petition may be used to sponsor a group of H2A visas if:
- workers will perform the same services;
- workers will work at the same location; and
- workers will obtain their visa stamp through the same US Consulate.
H2A Visas are used for?
Foreign agricultural workers (field workers, crop pickers, farm laborers) who will work for US companies to provide labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. The employers who most often use H2A visas are: farms, orchards, fruit growers, vegetable growers, tree nurseries, forestry.
“Agricultural” – H2A Program Employer Requirements
Payroll Records: Two years of employer’s payroll records may be necessary to demonstrate your peak/seasonal need.
Hourly Wage: The DOL establishes the applicable H2A Program wage rate, called the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). The employer pays the higher of either the AEWR or the state prevailing wage rate to both U.S. and H2A Program workers. LaborQuest USA will provide you with the exact wage currently required in your area on request, in advance of your applying for the program.
Insurance: The H2A Program employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all workers. Proof of coverage must be included with the initial application for workers and must cover at least a portion of the certification period.
Housing: The H2A Program employer must provide free housing to all workers who are not local workers. Non-local workers are those who are not reasonably able to return to their place of residence each day of employment. The housing must include kitchen facilities. Alternatively, the employer can provide workers three meals a day and be reimbursed by workers for the cost up to federally specified limits per day.
Transportation: The H2A Program employer pays for both the workers’ inbound and outbound transportation, from their home country to the place of employment and back to their homes. The H2A Program employer provides daily transportation to and from job sites. The employer must also provide transportation to town (grocery, bank, etc.) at least once a week.
Recruiting: U.S. workers continue to have hiring preference over foreign workers in the first half of the season, even after foreign workers arrive. So during the first half of the season, H2A Program employers must hire all U.S. job applicants who are ready, willing and able to perform the required job duties.
Work Supplies: The employer furnishes all tools and supplies necessary to perform the work at no cost to the worker.
Environment: H2A Employer needs to unsure everyone in the workplace will treat participants with respect and dignity.
“Agricultural” – H2A Program Process
The H2A Program Application Process for H2A takes approximately 2 months, from the initial application to the arrival of the employee in the USA.
Step 1: We discuss your business and staffing needs to ensure the H2A Program will match your needs. We will need to collect and review payroll records for the last 2 years that are required in the program.
Step 2: We arrange your presentation of all H2A Program paperwork and supporting documentation to file with the Department of Labor.
Step 3: Job advertisements are created and placed in local newspapers and radio to ensure there are no suitable workers available. At the same time we start recruiting and screening international guest workers applications for you to review.
Step 4: Upon receiving DOL approval, you decide which international guest workers to hire. We send Employment Agreements to guest workers for their signatures. For a very small fee background and drug screening can also be done.
Step 5: We submit H2A Program paperwork to the U.S. Government. Once approval has been received, we notify you and the employee.
Step 6: We arrange for employees to apply for the H2A Visa in their home country. After guest workers receive their H2A visa, we arrange transportation to the USA, and to your location.
Step 7: H2A Program Guest Workers arrive at local greyhound station and are your responsibility. On-going support is provided for both employers and guest workers.
Please contact us to see how you can benefit from an H2A Program.
H2A Related Links: