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The Importance of the H2A Work Visa for the Agricultural Industry

Farmers rely on a lot of workers to harvest, cultivate and plant crops throughout the year. Unfortunately, farmers rely on a lot of temporary or seasonal workers to complete their jobs. Often, there are tons of work for a month or two and then very little until the next jump in work. Some farmers are unable to find the employees they need domestically and the H-2A visa allows them the ability to run their farm efficiently.

Temporary Workers

The H2A visa allows farmers to obtain the seasonal agricultural workers they need for planting and harvesting crops. During these seasons, the farm needs a lot more hands than they regularly employ in order to get the harvest in on time. It can be difficult to hire enough temporary domestic workers to meet the demands of the farm. The H-2A visa helps farmers fill those gaps in employment when they need it most.

Visa Basics

The visa is sponsored by the federal government. The farmer applies for the correct type of application for the work they need completed. If approved, workers who have applied to the program are interviewed. Those that pass are made available to the approved farmers and get to work.

Employment Differences

Unlike standard employees, the temporary or seasonal workers do not have taxes withheld from their checks. Some states allow for taxes to be withheld from workers but not all. The farmer is obligated to treat the employees similarly to other hired workers. The employees cannot be discriminated against.

We rely on farmers to grow the food and crops that sustain the population. From biodiesel to animal feed to harvesting fruit trees farms need lots of labor and often don’t have enough. The visa program can be a cost-effective way for farmers to work their land as they need to without having to rely on an unavailable or unwilling domestic workforce.