What Farmers Need To Know About H2A Visas

Small family farmers often struggle to find enough workers to handle the tasks necessary to get their crops to market. Migrant workers provide seasonal labor, and farm employers are legally responsible to require appropriate labor certifications and to provide a variety of living services. What do you need to know before hiring temporary workers?

What Are H2A Visas?

H2A visas provide temporary permission for agricultural workers to do seasonal work, especially when there’s a shortage of domestic workers. The umbrella of agricultural work includes fruit and vegetable, tobacco, sod, and poultry farms. A few other types of farms, such as feed lots and swine production farms also qualify. Before non-immigrant foreign workers can find employment in the United States, the appropriate h2a work visa paperwork must be completed. Once visas have been awarded, migrant workers are available to be hired by foreign workers.

What Can H2A Workers Expect?

Once an H2A visa has been awarded, seasonal workers can enter the United States and expect all appropriate employee benefits. With the visa, workers can travel in and out of the country, bring their families with them to live in the U.S., and move from one job to another.

What Are Farmers Responsible To Provide?

Farmers who want to hire workers with the temporary agricultural worker visa must also satisfy some requirements. For example, they must actively advertise for U.S. workers and agree to pay migrant workers at the same rate they would pay U.S. workers. If temporary workers aren’t able to return to their own homes every night, the farmer must provide free, approved housing and offer three meals a day or kitchen facilities. A certain amount of transportation is also expected.

How To Ensure Proper Paperwork Is Completed

How can farmer employers make sure that temporary agricultural workers have the right paperwork? One of the best ways to ensure compliance with federal law is to work with a recruitment agency that specializes in H2A visa documents. Choose an agency that works closely with the Department of Labor and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

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