The agricultural industry is highly seasonal. While some jobs are available all year round, for instance, milk production, others, like harvesting, are only there for a couple of months in a year. Therefore, as an employer in the said sector; you’ll need temporary workers to take up the increased work.
These temporary employees may not be available domestically, which is where hiring abroad comes in. You can get a lot of talent overseas fast enough to fill positions once the busy season hits. But for your workers to get into the country, you must apply for an H-2A visa. Though the process isn’t too complex, employers often make costly errors.
So, to ensure you get things right, here are common mistakes employers make when applying for their H-2A visa:
1. Failing to Meet One or More Requirements
You must meet specific criteria to be eligible for the H-2A visa. For one, you must show that you have a temporary/ seasonal need for agricultural employees that the local employment market can’t meet. You must also declare that you’ll provide housing and transportation, to and from work, for the workers at your expense.
Plus, the wage you intend to pay the foreign workers must be on par with your area’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). And finally, you need a valid Temporary Labor Certification from the Department of Labor (DOL).
Missing one of these requirements will most likely have your visa denied.
2. Submitting Insufficiently or Incorrectly Filled Visa Forms
Another mistake employers make when applying for their H-2A visas is submitting visa forms that lack all the required information. These include basic personal details, specific job requirements, and much more. When this happens, your visa will undoubtedly be delayed due to hiccups during processing, or worse still, it may be rejected.
Filling out visa forms with incorrect details is as bad as submitting insufficient information. For this reason, you want to double-check and even triple-check your forms while applying.
3. Providing Inadequate Documentation
Employers also make the mistake of availing insufficient documentation during H-2A visa application. Often, the process requires that you provide specific papers, such as proof of the job offer, labor certification, proof of the need for seasonal agricultural labor, etc., to the necessary authority. If you cannot provide these, you are bound to hit roadblocks.
So, to ensure a smooth application process, make sure to organize your documentation and align them with the requirements for your visa application.
4. Not Starting the Visa Processing on Time
When you apply for an H-2A visa, don’t expect to get an answer in a few days or even weeks. The processing can take up to months to complete. Many employers make the mistake of starting late, and by the time the processing is done and workers are ready to come, domestic workers may be available.
So, planning your visa processing well in advance is critical.
Avoid These Common Mistakes Employers Make When Applying for Their H-2A Visa to Boost Your Chances of Approval
If you are an employer looking to apply for an H-2A visa, you must keep these mistakes at the back of your mind during the process. This way, you can avoid visa delays and even downright rejections. Get started on a smooth H-2A visa application with these tips.