The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to sponsor foreign nationals to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

Employment is of a seasonal nature where it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle, and requires labor levels above what is necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of a temporary nature when the employer's need to fill the position with a temporary worker will, except in extraordinary circumstances, last no longer than one year.

The employer must file an application with the Department of Labor stating that: (1) there are not sufficient able, willing and qualified United States (U.S.) workers available to perform the temporary and seasonal agricultural employment for which an employer desires to import nonimmigrant foreign workers; and (2) employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Once the Department of Labor certifies a temporary shortage, the employer or agent can file a petition with the USCIS to sponsor a temporary worker. For more information about the H-2A program click here: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/h_2a_details.cfm

The H-2B temporary nonagricultural program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nonimmigrant workers to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. Before requesting H-2B classification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must apply for and receive a temporary labor certification for H-2B workers from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

In order to receive an H-2B temporary labor certification, the employer must establish that: (1) there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the temporary work; (2) The employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; (3) Its need for the prospective worker's services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary. With the exception of a one-time occurrence need that could last up to three years, temporary need will not be approved for longer than 10 months.

For more information about the H-2B program click here: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/h-2b.cfm

To schedule an initial consultation with a Memphis Immigration attorney, call (901) 692-5732 or with a New York City Immigration Attorney, call (646) 380-0474 or contact Witty Law Group, PLLC.