Foreign labor temporary visa program for agricultural employers.

Who can participate in the H-2A Program ?

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The H-2A program permits agricultural employers to hire legal foreign agriculture labor on a temporary or seasonal basis.


The H-2A program is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and Department of Labor regulations at 20 CFR Part 655, Subpart B


Any agricultural employer who experiences a scarcity of U.S. workers and needs labor for temporary or seasonal jobs.


Temporary is defined as agricultural employment performed for a limited time period of less than one year when the employer can exhibit that the need for the worker is temporary. Seasonal is defined as agricultural employment performed during certain seasons of the year.

The requirements below must be satisfied by an employer who files an H-2A application.


Employers must engage in positive recruitment of U.S. workers. Recruitment may involve contacting previous U.S. employees, accepting U.S. referrals from the State Workforce Agency (SWA), and other methods determined by the US Department of Labor.  Recruitment is now conducted online at seasonaljobs.dol.gov. LSI ensures employers are fully equipped to fulfill all recruitment requirements.


Employers are obligated to provide housing at no cost to all H-2A workers and those workers in corresponding employment (U.S. workers) who are not reasonably able to return to their residence within the same day. LSI assists customers with housing health and safety standards in order to ensure compliance.


Employers must pay or reimburse workers for reasonable costs incurred for transportation and daily subsistence as they travel from the place from which they have come to work for the employer. Daily subsistence is paid in accordance with the current guidelines. LSI facilitates low cost travel arrangements if requested for H-2A workers and provides employers with detailed information of reimbursements to be paid to workers.


Employers must pay H-2A workers and U.S. workers in corresponding employment at the same rate. The hourly rate must be either the applicable Adverse Effect Wage Rate, Federal or State minimum wage rate, the prevailing piece rate, the prevailing hourly wage rate, or the agreed-upon collective bargaining rate, whichever is highest for every hour or portion of the hour worked. LSI will inform employers of the current applicable rate required to be paid to workers.


The employer either must provide each worker with three meals a day or must furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen facilities to the workers that will enable the workers to prepare their own meals. Where the employer provides the meals, the employer may charge the worker an amount per day.


The employer must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage in compliance with State law covering injury and disease arising out of and in the course of the worker's employment OR insurance coverage equal to Workers Compensation Insurance, for all workers. Proof of insurance is required prior to certification. LSI will work with your insurance company to maintain an updated Worker’s Compensation certificate.

Tools and Supplies

The employer is obligated to provide, free of charge to worker(s), all tools and supplies necessary to complete jobs duties assigned.

Three-Fourths Guarantee

The employer must guarantee to offer the worker employment for a total number of work hours equal to at least three-fourths of the workdays of the total period.  If less opportunity for work is provided to the worker, employers are required to fulfill the ¾ guarantee by paying the worker for the amount the worker would have earned had the entire opportunity been afforded.  LSI assists employers by determining full payment obligations to the worker based on hours listed in the job order.

Fifty Percent Rule

From the time the foreign workers depart for the employer's place of employment, the employer must provide employment to any qualified, eligible U.S. worker who applies to the employer until 50 percent of the period of the work contract has elapsed.