H-2A Program Frequently Asked Questions, Round 8

"The Department of Labor has posted new FAQs for the H-2A program. Topics include custom combine activities, housing inspections, filing an application, rates of pay, reimbursable costs, surety bonds, and recruitment. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the...

Congressionals Agree on Need to Rework H-2A Agricultural Worker Visa Program

"Republicans and Democrats said Tuesday that farmers should be allowed to hire foreign workers more easily as Congress reworks U.S. immigration laws. But there was some disagreement on how it should happen. Lawmakers and witnesses at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing said the visa program that...

H-2A Notice: 2013 Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers’ Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including Lodging

"The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this Notice to announce (1) the allowable charges for 2013 that employers seeking H–2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and (2) the maximum travel...

Advance Copy of DOL H-2A Prevailing Wages; Correction

"The Department of Labor (we or the Department) is issuing this notice to correct a previous announcement of prevailing wage rates covering the employment of certain temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) and certain domestic workers engaged in open range production of...

DOL Notice: Prevailing Wage Rates for Certain Occupations Processed Under H–2A Special Procedures; Correction and Rescission

"The Department of Labor (we or the Department) is issuing this notice to correct a previous announcement of prevailing wage rates covering the employment of certain temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H–2A workers) and certain domestic workers engaged in open range production...

DOL Needs to Improve H-2A Data: GAO Report

"The H-2A visa program allows U.S. employers that anticipate a shortage of domestic agricultural workers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. GAO issued a report on the process employers follow in applying for these workers and made several recommendations to the Department of Labor (Labor...

H-2A Visa System Fails Pacific Northwest Pear Growers

"The Pacific Northwest grows the majority of the nation's pears, and they're predicted to have the third-largest harvest in history. But farmers are facing a shortfall that's been plaguing many agricultural industries — not enough workers to pick the fruit." - NPR, Oct. 7...

USCIS: Important Information on Form I-129 H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B Petitions

"If an H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B petitioner submits evidence establishing that the primary reason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request was due to the government shutdown, USCIS will consider the government shutdown as an extraordinary circumstance and excuse the...

Notice to Stakeholders Regarding H-2A Certifications - DOL, Oct. 21, 2013

"As a result of the unique perishable nature of agricultural commodities in the H-2A program, OFLC will temporarily (for a period not to exceed 30 days) implement the following mailing procedure: Upon certification of an H-2A application, the Chicago National Processing Center will send the...

News Excerpts From The Nov. 1, 2013, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Government Shutdown: Impact on I-129 H Visa Extensions and AOS | Via e-Mail on October 18, 2013, USCIS alerted stakeholders that if an H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B petitioner submits evidence establishing that the primary reason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request was...

Temporary Accommodation for Form I-129 H-2A Petitions

"With the reopening of the federal government, USCIS has been informed that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification is once again accepting and processing applications, including Temporary Labor Certifications (TLCs). On Oct. 21, 2013, DOL issued an announcemen...

Notice to H-2A Stakeholders: Accommodation PDFs will Continue Through November 18th

"On October 21st, OFLC announced, as a temporary accommodation not to exceed 30 days, it would send an Adobe PDF of an approved certification to H-2A employers and authorized representatives. That accommodation will be continued through November 18, 2013." - DOL, Oct. 28, 2013 .

H-2A Guestworker Visa Program: Facilitator of Exploitation and Labor Trafficking in the U.S. Ranching Industry

"Born out of the Bracero system of the post-World War II era, today's H-2A guestworker visa program facilitates the exploitation of foreign sheep, goat, and cattle herders in the United States by binding them to a single employer, subjecting them to labor abuses, and exempting them from legal...

CA9 on FLSA, H-2A, Nevada: Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc.

"In the face of regulatory ambiguity, the DOL’s determination that inbound travel and immigration expenses primarily benefit H-2A employers was reasonable. There is no reason to think that the DOL’s determination was not a product of its considered judgment. Although the DOL briefly...

USCIS Policy Memo: Additional Guidance on Determining Periods of Admission for Foreign Nationals Previously Admitted as H-4 Nonimmigrants who are Seeking H-2 or H-3 Status

"This policy memorandum (PM) provides additional guidance regarding how Immigration Services Officers (ISOs) should determine periods of admission for a foreign national. Specifically, this PM clarifies that time spent as an H-4 dependent does not count against the maximum allowable periods of stay...

News Excerpts From the Dec. 1, 2013, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Municipalities Seek Review of Immigration Ordinances at Supreme Court | In late October, the cities of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Farmers Branch, Texas, filed petitions at the Supreme Court asking the Justices to review federal appellate court decisions striking down local laws targeting undocumented...

H-2A Seasonality Demonstrated for Open Range Winter Cattle Herder: Matter of Vermillion Ranch

"Employer has established that it has a seasonal need for experienced winter herders, a seasonal need for calvers with a degree of veterinary experience, and a seasonal need for livestock workers. ... Accordingly, the CO’s decision is REVERSED, and the application for temporary labor certification...

Advance Copy of 2014 H-2A AEWRs

"The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this notice to announce the 2014 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) to perform agricultural labor or services...

H-2A AEWRs for 2014

"The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this notice to announce the 2014 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H–2A workers) to perform agricultural labor or services...

Advance Copy of List of Countries Eligible to Send H-2A/B Workers

"Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may approve petitions for H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant status only for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, has designated...

DHS Notice: List of Countries Eligible to Send H-2A/B Workers

"Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may approve petitions for H–2A and H–2B nonimmigrant status only for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State...

OFLC Deactivates 4 H-2A/B E-Mail Addresses

"In order to implement the Department's IT modernization initiative and new cloud computing requirements, the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) deactivated the following email boxes on February 3, 2014: H2A.Amend-Extend.Chicago@dol.gov H2A.Abandonment-Termination.Chicago...

Advance Copy of 2014 H-2A Allowable Charges

"The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this Notice to announce (1) the allowable charges for 2014 that employers seeking H-2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and (2) the maximum travel subsistence...

Court Imposes Deadlines on DOL for H-2A, H-2B RFIs: International Labor Management Corp. v. Perez

"Employers using the H-2A and H-2B guestworker programs may get some relief from government-caused delays following a recent federal court decision holding that the Labor Department must follow the statutory and regulatory time frames for issuing notices and certifications. In International Labor...

D.C. Circ. - H-2A TEGLs Need Notice and Comment: Zacarias Mendoza v. Perez

"On the merits of their claim, the plaintiffs are entitled to entry of summary judgment in their favor. The TEGLs are legislative rules and the Department of Labor violated the Administrative Procedure Act by promulgating them without providing public notice and an opportunity for comment."...