There are a variety of visas available for people looking to study and work in US. But apart from IT and software industry, US needs a strong workforce of agricultural workers and H-2 category of visa deals with that.
The H-2A visa permits a foreigner to enter US for seasonal work in the agricultural work. The temporary agricultural visa H-2A establishes means for US agricultural employers to get nonimmigrant foreign workers for agricultural work on a seasonal basis. Under this program, there are about 30,000 workers currently on this visa within US. As per law, all workers compensation, wage laws and other benefits are given.
The wages for workers on H-2A visa needs to be as high as that of the US workers and the Adverse Effect Wage Rate is applicable or the minimum hourly wages has to be given to all temporary workers. The Adverse Effect Wage Rate is reviewed and established every year in all the states of US except Alaska. However, no job facilitator or agent can ask for a job placement fee at any time from the H-2B workers for providing employment.
Before the non-immigrant on H-2B is given, the complete classification needs the US Secretary of Homeland Security to discuss and consult with various government agencies about the non-immigrants that are to be admitted. As per the regulations followed by Homeland Security, all employers asking and petitioning for foreign temporary labor have to apply for a temporary labor certification that is issued by the US Secretary of Labor. The employers have to prove:
· Insufficient US workforce for temporary agricultural work at the specific location/city/state
· Prove that employing foreign labor will not adversely affect the working conditions and wages of US workers.
US Department of Labor reviews before processing the H-2B petitions/applications on first come basis. Most of the employers looking forward to employing H-2B workers have to get the temporary Employment certification from the NCP and can submit their request for hiring multiple foreign workers. However, they have to ensure that each of the foreign workers coming to work on H-2B will perform the same services on the same condition and wages during the same period of time. The certification is not issued to the workers but to the worker and cannot be transferred among employers or to workers.
However, the H-2B visa is not open to agricultural workers from all countries. It is only valid for Argentina, Bulgaria, Australia, Latvia, Croatia, Estonia, Jamaica, Ecuador, Barbados, Belize, Japan, Fiji, Ethiopia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Macedonia, Chile, Iceland Costa Rica, Peru, Kiribati and many other countries in South America and Europe. However, most of the South East Asian countries do not qualify under this visa except for Philippines and South Korea.
Most employers looking for foreign workers might run into issues as they are unaware of the complete documentation and other legalities. That is why it makes sense to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer to help with the procedures and documentation that is needed at every step.