US H2A Temporary Agricultural Work Visa (2024 Guide)

The US H2A program allows U.S. Employers in agriculture, American Farmers, owners of farms, farming companies, or corporations to hire foreign workers in agriculture-related Jobs. This guide will explain the application process for the US H2A Temporary Agricultural Work Visa. Are you a farmer who needs seasonal or temporary workers for planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops? Are you a worker/employee who is looking for an Agriculture Visa? Then US H2A Visa is the best option. This is an employer-sponsored Visa, you can not apply directly for it. Your employer will file a Petition on your behalf.

Why H2A Visa is best? Because there is no cap for the H-2A visas. This means that anyone who applies for the visa and gets approved can come to the US to work. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2021, 258,000 H-2A visas were issued, whereas, in 2022, this number increased to 298,000. The number of approved H2A visas has been rising. There is no High qualification required for this Visa. More details about the H2A Visa application process, the benefits, and the requirements are given below.

Requirements for the Workers to Qualify for the H2A Visa

  • You must have received a Job offer from the U.S. Employer.
  • The Job must be temporary or seasonal agricultural work.
  • You must be a National of an Eligible Country.

Requirements for the Employers to Hire a Foreign Worker

  • As an employer, you must offer a Job in temporary or seasonal agricultural work.
  • Prove that US workers are not willing, qualified, able, or available to work in those positions, that’s why you are hiring a Foreign worker.
  • You must have all the documents to file a Petition.

Type of Work

Work can happen on farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses, orchards, or other similar locations but not limited to, planting, cultivating, or harvesting labor.

What is the Petition?

The petition is the process when the Employer/company asks USCIS to approve the foreign worker for the H-2A visa.

The petition refers to the official request submitted by the U.S. employer to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) on behalf of the foreign worker.

As an employer, you must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Once the petition is approved, then the applicant (employee/worker) can apply for the Visa at the U.S. Embassy.

No Cap Visa – You are Free to Go

Unlike US H1B visas, there is no annual numerical cap on H-2A visas. This means there’s no pre-defined limit on the total number of H-2A visas issued each year.

Cost Covered by the U.S. Employer

Employers are responsible for the cost when hiring and employing foreign workers under the H-2A Visa Program.

  • Labor Certification Fee
  • Non-Immigrant Worker Petition
  • H-2A Visa Application
  • Transportation (Transport from home country to work site)
  • Miscellaneous costs

Upon completion of 50% of the contract, a US employer is required to reimburse an employee for transportation expenses if they were incurred.

If the employer provides housing, they are also responsible for providing transportation from the housing to the place of work.

Please read the complete details about the Cost Covered by the Employer on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Website.

How to Apply for the US H2A Temporary Agricultural Work Visa?

The step-by-step application process is given below:

  • As an employee, you must first Find a Job.
  • Your Employer will file a petition and will go through the Petition process.
  • Once the petition is approved, the next step is to apply for the Visa.
  • Fill in the DS-160 form online.
  • Pay the Visa application fee.
  • Schedule an interview at the nearest U.S. Embassy.
  • Submit the required documents.
  • Attend the H2A Visa interview.

Duration of the H2A Visa

It is usually seasonal based or for 1 year maximum.

Eligible Countries for the H2A Visa Program

  • Andorra
  • The Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Madagascar
  • San Marino
  • Argentina
  • Fiji
  • Malta
  • Serbia
  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Mauritius
  • Singapore
  • Austria
  • France
  • Mexico
  • Slovakia
  • Barbados
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Slovenia
  • Belgium
  • Greece
  • Montenegro
  • Solomon Islands
  • Bolivia
  • Grenada
  • Mozambique
  • South Africa
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Guatemala
  • Nauru
  • South Korea
  • Brazil
  • Haiti
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Brunei
  • Honduras
  • New Zealand
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Nicaragua
  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • Iceland
  • North Macedonia
  • Switzerland
  • Chile
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Taiwan
  • Colombia
  • Israel
  • Panama
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • Italy
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Timor-Leste
  • Croatia
  • Jamaica
  • Paraguay
  • Turkey
  • Czech Republic
  • Japan
  • Peru
  • Tuvalu
  • Denmark
  • Kiribati
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • Dominican Republic
  • Latvia
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • Ecuador
  • Liechtenstein
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Uruguay
  • El Salvador
  • Lithuania
  • Romania
  • Vanuatu
  • Estonia
  • Luxembourg
  • Saint Lucia

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Muhammad Saim Rasheed
As Opportunities Corners founder, my name is Muhammad Saim Rasheed. I completed my higher education from University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar. I have been to Egypt for the AIESEC internship in 2016. In addition, I am an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State's (SUSI 2017) Exchange Program. I participated in the Young Leaders Fellowship in the Maldives in 2021, and I went to the International Youth Leadership Summit in Turkiye in 2022. Since 2017, I have participated in numerous fully funded educational and leadership programs. I therefore created this blog based on my own personal experiences, and I mentor students who are eager and enthusiastic about pursuing fully funded opportunities. You can visit the official sources for additional information by clicking on the links provided at the end of each post. Read more about me and our partners here. I am also Featured by Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network