How to Apply for Seasonal Farm Jobs as a Migrant

The h2a guest worker program helps farmers find people from other countries to do farm work.  Many US residents are not familiar with these jobs or prefer not to apply for them, so farmers go outside of the borders to get the harvest brought in.

How Do Farmers Apply?

In order to hire migrant workers, a farmer needs to apply with one of several government agencies, depending upon the immediate need for help. The first step in the process is to file with the workforce agency in the farmer’s state of residence. If it is an emergency, the farmer applies for a temporary certification with the US Department of Labor. The application process can take up to seventy-five days.

How Do Workers Apply?

People desiring to apply to the h2a guest worker program in the US need to begin the process with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once the application is approved, they will be interviewed by employees of the US Department of State at the US consulate in their home country. After that step, the applicants will be granted visas and will travel to the worksite with a definite date of departure on the visa. The farmer may get an extension of the visa in some circumstances.

Were Do Migrants Work?

Seasonal or temporary agricultural migrant workers can work in many settings including:

  • farms,
  • ranches,
  • nurseries,
  • greenhouses,
  • orchards, or
  • other agricultural businesses.

Seasonal work is defined as a time when farmers need extra help to harvest crops before they are spoiled. It is by nature time-oriented and tied to the growing season. Temporary work is limited to no longer than one year. There is also a provision in the law requiring employers to take applicants who are US citizens before foreign workers.

People who want to work seasonal agricultural jobs have a definite process to follow in order to find employment.