H-2A Visa Program
Why does the H-2A Visa Program matter?
The H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa program allows agricultural employers facing a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform seasonal or temporary work.
When using temporary visa program for workers, agricultural employers must prepare well in advance, and are under strict scrutiny from the US Department of Labor and other regulatory agencies. Employers are frequently audited, so skilled preparation and execution becomes crucial.
Latest News in the H-2A Program
August 27, 2019. OFLC Announces New H-2A Application Forms and Schedule for Electronic Filing in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway System.
Data and Statistics of the H-2A Visa Program
Increase in H-2A Visas Issued from 2013 to 2018
H-2A Positions Certified in FY18
Increase in Number of H-2A Applications Received by OFLC from FY17 to FY18
Source: Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification Performance Data Reports
Source: Department of State’s Nonimmigrant Visas Issued by Classification Fiscal Years 2015 – 2019 Report
Active Regulatory Reform For the H-2A Program
NCAE applauds the Trump Administration’s announcement on July 15th of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to modernize and improve the H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification program.
According to the Department of Labor’s announcement, “These proposed changes would modernize the Department’s H-2A regulations in a way that is responsive to stakeholder concerns and enhances employer access to a legal source of agricultural labor, while maintaining the program’s protections for the U.S. workforce and enhancing enforcement against fraud and abuse.”
“We are very pleased the Administration has agreed to roll out this much needed modernization effort for the H-2A program. It is obvious, based upon the 489 pages included, the deep dive that was done by the agencies in their effort to evolve the program to one more responsive to the needs of stakeholders,” said Michael Marsh, President and CEO of NCAE.
According to the Department, the wide-ranging rulemaking will streamline the application process and strengthen protections for U.S. and foreign workers. The rule also looks to update methodologies used to determine Adverse Effect Wage Rates while addressing many other issues.
Marsh noted, “The breadth of this proposed rule is substantial. NCAE will be working with its committees, members and legal counsel to develop targeted, cogent comments to provide to the Department. This type of hefty rulemaking doesn’t come around often. Our sleeves are rolled up and we’re raring to go!”.
Latest News on the H-2A Visa Program
Get in Touch
While the NCAE focuses on advocating for Agricultural Employers at the national level, we also aim to serve as a reliable resource for our members. If you have a question or concern, send us a message.