About H2A Visa
Overview: An H-2A visa(Temporary Agricultural Workers) allows a foreign national entry into the U.S. for temporary or seasonal agricultural work.

H-2A visa is a program for Temporary Agricultural Workers. which is different from H-2B Visa program for non-agricultural temporary worker.

Period of Stay: initial stay of no more than 1 year, could be extended in increments of 1 year. The maximum period of stay is 3 years.

Family: Spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an H-2A worker may seek admission in H-4 nonimmigrant classification. H-4 Visa holder does not have work authorization in United States.

Green Card Intent: Not permitted. A foreign worker in H-2A nonimmigrant status for 3 years is required to depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of 3 months before seeking readmission as an H-2A nonimmigrant.

H-2A Program Process
  1. Employer Submits Temporary Labor Certification Application to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  2. Employer Submits a Form I-129 to USCIS.
  3. Prospective Workers Outside the United States Apply for Visa and/or Admission.

Statistics: In fiscal year 2010, USCIS received 64,071 applications for H-2A visa, approved 55,921 of them, and denied 8,150, waived or overcome 2,449.
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H-2A Qualification
  • The job offered must be of a temporary or seasonal nature.
  • The employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
  • The employer must show that the employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
  • Generally, a single, valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor must be submitted with the H-2A petition.
H-2A Visa Eligible Countries List
H-2A petitions may only be approved for foreign workers holding the passports of countries approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State. The list of H-2A eligible countries is published in a notice in the Federal Register and will be valid for one year from publication.

Effective Jan. 18, 2011, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. Of these countries, the following were designated for the first time this year: Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.


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