Outsourcing for Agricultural Labor

Temporary labor for the agricultural business in the United States can be outsourced from different countries. Foreign workers can apply for a temporary visa using the h2A Visa Program which allows them temporary residency within the U.S. to work.

Outsourcing for Agricultural Labor

The History of the H-2A Visa

Before 1952, there was no ability to allow immigrants to reside legally in the U.S. for temporary unskilled labor. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 changed this, and in 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act divided these temporary workers into two categories. The H-2A category allowed an unlimited number of temporary agrigultural workers while the H-2B category was a capped number of foreign workers in other fields.

The Application Process

There are certain requirements that must be met by both the employer and the employee before a worker can apply for a H-2A.

The State Workforce Agency must recieve an order stating the need for temporary employees. Once the employer submits this order, they must verify with the United States Department of Labor that there are not enough willing or qualified U.S. workers to take on the agricultural tasks. The employer must also show that by hiring foreign workers, this will not affect the working conditions or pay of current U.S. workers.

Once a foreign employee is found, the employer must submit paperwork to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will verify the employee’s country of origin as only certain countries are allowed to participate. The list of eligible countries is based on the level of cooperation between the U.S. governemt and the foreign governemnt on issuing travel documents and the number of foreign citizens who have been or will be removed from the U.S.

Temporary work in agriculture can be important during peak seasons, and when there are not enough employees within the country’s border, an employer has the benefit to outsource for their needs.

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