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How to Recruit the Right H2A or H2B Visa Workers for Your Business


With the current labor shortage, finding workers to fill your positions may be difficult at best. If you’re considering hiring H2A or H2B visa workers for your farm or business, the process can seem daunting. One area where many businesses run into problems is finding the right workers for the work that they need done. How do you recruit someone from another country? How do you get them to the job site? What are the requirements you need to meet? How do you ensure that the worker meets your requirements? Here’s a quick look at how to hire the right H2A or H2B workers for your company’s needs.

Starting the Paperwork

Let’s walk through the recruitment process one step at a time. To start, you need to have some basic paperwork in order. A Temporary Labor Certification application will need to be sent to the Department of Labor. After that application has been approved, another document, Form I-129, will need to be submitted to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. After this point, you can begin the process of actively recruiting H2A and H2B visa workers for your business.

Finding the Workers

Next, you’ll need to find workers who are interested in working for your business. Which area of a foreign country should you recruit from? You may want to start by looking at areas where your particular industry is going through a slump, such as looking for farmhands in an area experiencing a bad drought, construction workers in an area where building has slowed down, resort workers in an area that has been hit recently by a natural disaster that is discouraging tourists from visiting. By doing this, you’ll be able to find workers who already have some of the skills you need to get the job done. This may require travel and recruitment to find your prospective workers.

Discovering Potential Prospects

Once you’ve had a chance to find an area with prospective workers and developed a list of potential prospects, you’ll need to weed through these workers to find the right ones for your business. Much like hiring in America, you’ll want to make sure the person you’re hiring can do the job. But adding in a language barrier and not being aware of how things work in a foreign country can make this process difficult. What can you legally ask or not ask? Can you require testing? Generally speaking, you can require that your prospects be examined by an independent physician to ensure they can physically manage the work, that they pass a drug test and that they pass a basic psychological evaluation to ensure that they’ll work well for your business’ needs. You can also request that a background test be performed, to ensure that you’re not hiring anyone with a suspicious or criminal background.

Interviewing Your Prospects

The next step is undertaking interviews. Though you could work with a translation program, working with a qualified interpreter means that you’ll be able to understand not only what was said, but the nuances of the conversation that may otherwise be lost when a translation program can be very important to your final hiring decision. Many people in foreign countries that want to be hired as visa workers are able to speak a small to good amount of English, but much as a high-school Spanish student, they may not understand the nuances of the language or the full context of comments that are made. Working with an interpreter during this step can help ensure that everyone understands what’s being asked, the answers provided and what is being promised in the hiring process.

Finishing the Paperwork and Arranging Travel

Now that you’ve selected your workers, it’s time to get the paperwork in order. Many businesses do this through an immigration attorney, to ensure that everything is handled correctly and in a timely manner. At a minimum, the worker will need to submit an application for a H2A or H2B visa to a U.S. Embassy, Consulate or through the U.S. Department of State. You’ll also need to make arrangements for travel, including the direct expenses of the travel itself, hotel stays and food while the workers are traveling to the site where you’ll put them to work. Once the worker has their visa, they can seek entry to the U.S. with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Alternatives to DIYing the Process

If this sounds involved and confusing, it certainly can be. That’s why many farms and businesses choose to use an agency to handle the majority of this process. Instead of being tied up for weeks to months chasing paperwork, you can focus on getting your farm or business ready for an influx of eager new workers. Because they have experience in the process, they’ll stay on top of your paperwork, take care of any issues that may arise, can help conduct interviews properly, have the resources to perform testing and background checks to ensure you’re getting good workers and will make the process of getting your workers to your location much easier.

Why Labormex?

Labormex has over 15 years’ experience helping businesses find the right H2A and H2B workers for our clients. We undertake a wide range of services to make the process easier for your farm or business. We’re able to manage virtually the entire process, or simply provide help for the parts you need assistance with. If you have workers that need to be screened and paperwork proceesed, we’ll handle that part of the job. Drug screening, medical exams, psychological exams and background checks are all services we can provide. Want to avoid travel? We can set up remote interviews using HD quality that you can view through our technological capabilities. We’ll process the paperwork. Why not contact us today to see how easy hiring H2A and H2B visa workers can be?