The Department of Homeland Security has announced a temporary rule to allow farmers facing delays in getting approval for foreign agricultural laborers to hire farmworkers holding valid H-2A visas and already in the U.S. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. For more information about the H-2A visa, please click here.
The temporary final rule announced Wednesday comes after mounting pressure from agriculture groups for access to H-2A workers primarily to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables. DHS is calling the lack of workers and the slow down in processing applications an “unprecedented crisis”. There are approximately 20,000 H-2A and H-2B non-agriculture visa holders in the U.S. who have expiring work contracts who can potentially be hired under the new agreement.
Agricultural employers who have submitted a petition for H-2A workers and who hold a valid temporary labor certification will be eligible to hire visa holders in the U.S. after the USCIS receives the H-2A petition. Workers can’t start work any earlier than the start date on a submitted petition.
H-2A workers nearing the expiration of their three-year visas would be allowed to remain in the United States if hired under a new contract.
You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below.
- Top 10 Covid-19 Immigration Questions
- Implications of Layoffs for employers who have employees on H-1B and/or E-3 Visas
- USCIS announces flexibility for request for evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
- Information on Consular closures during Covid-19
- USCIS issues guidance on Remote 1-9 verification during Covid-19
- USCIS office closures due to Covid-19
- Can I apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits while on a Visa?
- Canada/U.S. Border Closures
- USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing
- What can you do if your ESTA is running out?
- Travel Ban for Europe
- Stimulus Bill (All 800 pages)
- Information on Small Business Loans related to the Stimulus package
- USCIS to accept scanned/reproduced signatures instead of “wet” signatures on immigration petitions and forms
- Implications of furlough or termination if you are on a TN visa
- Does the Stimulus Bill impact my immigration status? Is there a public charge concern?
- Understanding the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses and the Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration COVID-19 Loans
- USCIS to Reuse Previously Submitted Biometrics to Process Work Permit Applications
- USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended Until at least May 3
- SBA Loans and Public Charge Rules – Paychecks Loan Program and Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan Program
- I am in the U.S. on H-1B visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak.
- I am in the U.S. on an E-2 visa, can I apply for loans under the Stimulus Bill?
- Does Covid-19 impact my obligations as an H-1B or E-3 Employer?
- I am in the U.S. on E-2 employee visa. Can I apply for unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus?
- I want to decrease the salary of my H-1B employee, what is the process?
- I am in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak.
- I am on an E-2 visa but cannot go back to my Consulate to Renew, what can I do?
- I had to terminate the employment of an H-1B employee due to the Corona virus outbreak. What are my obligations as an H-1B Employer?
- If I get laid off or furloughed am I still eligible to get a green card?
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