WORKER VISAS FOR AGRICULTURAL WORKERS

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Agricultural employers often need to scale up their labor force for special projects or during certain times of the year, such as growing or harvest season. Many struggle to find domestic workers who are willing and able to fill these temporary positions. The immigration lawyers at Bolour/Carl expertly guide farms, ranches, nurseries, orchards and other agricultural businesses, as well as foreign national workers, through the H-2A visa process, which allows U.S. employers to hire temporary agricultural workers from about 80 countries.

About Bolour/Carl Immigration Group

The Bolour / Carl Immigration Group is a boutique immigration law firm based in California with offices in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Salinas. We have a proven track record of successfully meeting our clients’ immigration-related goals. Originally established in 1996, our firm has served thousands of clients worldwide and facilitated their dream of working in, or immigrating to, the United States.

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Multi-Step Process

Employers need to start the H-2A visa application process several months in advance of the intended hire date. The complex process has several steps, each of which must be completed in a timely manner. At Bolour/Carl, we have deep expertise in working with the Department of Labor (DOL), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of State (DOS) and other agencies as we guide clients through every step of the intricate application process, which has three main parts:

  • One-time occurrence: Prospective employer applies for temporary labor certification from the DOL.
  • Prospective employer submits a petition to USCIS.
  • Prospective employee applies for a visa through DOS.
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Department of Labor (DOL) Process

U.S. employers must first apply for temporary labor certification from the DOL. To qualify for the certification, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the position is temporary or seasonal in nature; that a bona fide effort has been made to hire U.S. workers; and that hiring foreign nationals would not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. The DOL application process has several steps, and the attorneys at Bolour/Carl expertly guide employers in submitting a thorough application, meeting all deadlines, and avoiding the common pitfalls that have resulted in application denials or delays.

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USCIS Application

Once the labor certificate is secured, Bolour/Carl helps ensure that employers complete a thorough Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker petition with USCIS. The employer can include multiple foreign national workers on the same H-2A petition. 

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Consular Process

Once USCIS approves the employer’s petition, Bolour/Carl guides prospective employees with their H-2A visa applications. This includes assisting them with the DOS application, preparing them for an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country, and determining if they are eligible for an interview waiver, which can streamline the process.

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Who Qualifies for an H-2A Visa

H-2A visas are only available to nationals from a list of about 80 eligible countries, which was recently updated by Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

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Period of Stay

An H-2A visa is typically approved for the length of the labor certificate and may be extended in one-year increments. At Bolour/Carl, we routinely assist employers and employees with applying for extensions, which requires new temporary labor certification. An individual can remain in the H-2A status for up to three years.

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Family Members

We also assist H-2A visa candidates with securing admission for their spouses and unmarried children under age 21 under the H-4 nonimmigrant classification.

If you need an immigration lawyer, please contact us today.

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Change of Status

At Bolour/Carl, we also counsel H-2A visa holders who are interested in changing their status to remain in the United States.