FAQ about hiring H-2A visa workers
How long can H-2A workers stay?
Holders of H-2A temporary agricultural visas are Mexican workers who travel to the United States to participate in crop production or other agricultural labor. These workers can obtain a temporary visa to stay anywhere from 3 months to three years. For the duration of the visa, these Mexican workers can work for US employers in agricultural jobs and may even qualify for coveted green cards indicating permanent residence. Employers need to know how long H-2A visa holders are allowed to remain in the country and what process must be taken should they wish to extend their stay beyond the length initially issued.
Do H-2A workers pay taxes?
Yes, H-2A workers are required to pay taxes just like any other worker in the United States. They are subject to federal income tax, state income tax (if applicable), and social security and Medicare taxes. Therefore, it is important for H-2A workers to accurately report their income and pay their taxes to avoid any legal issues or fines.
Can H-2A apply for a green card?
Yes, H-2A visa holders can apply for a green card. However, the process for obtaining a green card as an H-2A visa holder is different from the process for other nonimmigrant visas.
To apply for a green card as an H-2A visa holder, the worker must first find an employer willing to sponsor the worker for a job that is unavailable to US workers. Next, the employer must file a labor certification application with the Department of Labor, demonstrating that they have tried to find US workers to fill the position but were unable to do so. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer can file an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) on behalf of the worker with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If the immigrant visa petition is approved, you may then apply for a green card through a process called "adjustment of status." This process allows you to remain in the United States while processing your green card application. If you are outside of the United States when the immigrant visa petition is approved, you will need to consular process through the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
It's important to note that the H-2A visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa, and it does not provide a direct path to a green card. Therefore, a worker will need to go through the above process to apply for a green card while you are in H-2A status.
Can H-2A workers bring the family?
No, H-2A workers are not allowed to bring family members with them. H-2A visas are issued for temporary agricultural work and are not intended for long-term family stays. Only the H-2B visa program allows workers to bring their spouses and children, but this visa category is only available for temporary non-agricultural work.
Who hires H-2A workers?
H-2A workers are typically hired by employers in the agriculture industry, including farmers, ranchers, and agricultural companies. However, these workers may also be hired by other industries, such as forestry or horticulture, that require temporary or seasonal labor.
How do I bring a H-2A worker to US?
To bring a H-2A worker to the USA, the employer must follow these steps:
Determine the need for H-2A workers: The employer must first determine that they have a need for H-2A workers, and that they are unable to find sufficient, qualified, and available domestic workers to fill the positions.
Obtain labor certification: The employer must apply for and obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) through the H-2A program. This involves demonstrating that there is a shortage of domestic workers and that the employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed domestic workers.
File a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Once the employer has obtained a labor certification, they must file a petition with USCIS on behalf of the H-2A worker. The petition must include the following information:
The employer's name and address
The number of H-2A workers requested
The job duties and wages for the positions
The duration of employment
Proof of the employer's ability to provide housing and transportation for the H-2A workers
Obtain visas for the H-2A workers: Once the petition is approved, the H-2A workers must apply for and obtain H-2A visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. They will need to provide proof of their work authorization, as well as other required documents.
Transport the H-2A workers to the USA: The employer is responsible for transporting the H-2A workers to the USA. They must provide the workers with transportation to and from their place of employment, as well as housing while they are in the country.
Report to the DOL: The employer must report to the DOL on the arrival of the H-2A workers and any changes in their employment status.
File an H-2A return transportation bond: The employer must file an H-2A return transportation bond with the DOL to ensure that the H-2A workers are returned to their home country at the end of their employment.
Overall, the process of bringing H-2A workers to the USA can be complex and time-consuming, but we can help you with the process, so please contact us.
What jobs qualify for H-2A visa?
Qualifying jobs for the H-2A visa include:
Farming and cultivation of crops, including planting, harvesting, and sorting
Ranching, including feeding and caring for livestock
Dairy work, including milking cows and handling dairy products
Forestry and logging, including planting and harvesting trees
Nursery and greenhouse work, including planting and caring for plants
Animal care, including feeding and caring for animals in a farm or ranch setting
Landscaping and groundskeeping, including maintaining gardens and lawns
Haying and silage work, including cutting, drying, and storing hay
Who pays for H-2A visa?
The employer pays for the H-2A visa. This includes the cost of the visa application fee, any transportation costs for the employee to and from the place of employment, and any other related expenses.
Do H-2A workers have Social Security numbers?
Yes, H-2A workers are required to have a Social Security number in order to work in the United States.
In order to apply for a Social Security number, H-2A workers will need to provide evidence of their identity and work authorization, such as their H-2A visa and passport. They will also need to fill out an application form and provide any additional documentation required by the Social Security Administration. Once their application has been approved, they will be issued a Social Security number, which they will use to pay taxes and receive any Social Security benefits to which they may be entitled.
Can a H-2A worker marry a US citizen?
Yes, a H-2A worker can marry a US citizen. However, this does not automatically grant them permanent resident status or the ability to work in the US indefinitely. They would need to apply for a change in immigration status through the appropriate channels and go through the process of obtaining a green card or other form of permanent residency.