8 CFR § 214.2: Petitions for Temporary Nonimmigrant Employees
The H-2A nonimmigrant classification applies to aliens seeking to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature in the United States on a temporary basis.
Who can File and What to File
A U.S. employer (or an association of U.S. agricultural producers named as a joint employer) must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker on a prospective worker’s behalf. Only beneficiaries from pre-approved countries below can participate.
- Effective Jan. 18, 2012, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.
A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H-2B petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the U.S. interest for that alien to be the beneficiary of such a petition.
The Petitioner is required to submit:
- Temporary Labor Certification Application to the U.S. Department of Labor and once approved,
- Form I-129 to USCIS with approved temporary labor certification
Prospective Worker is Required to:
- Apply with the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad for an H-2A visa (if a visa is required) and, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for admission to the United States in H-2A classification.
Period of Stay and Extensions
- H-2A classification for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification (usually authorized for no longer than one (1) year). An extension may be given in increments of up to one 1 year for a maximum period of 3 years.
- An individual who has held H-2A nonimmigrant status for a total of three (3) years is required to depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three (3) months before seeking readmission as an H-2A