H2A Paper Work
H2 Express specializes in completing paperwork to allow you to bring foreign temporary workers to assist in your production agriculture enterprise. The program is highly regulated and has specific requirements that need to be considered before committing to the program. Wage rates will always be higher than local existing wage rates. Employers are required to pay all expenses in travel to and from the worksite, as well as expenses associated with acquiring the visa. Housing and daily transportation to the work site is paid by the employer.The contract can only be ten months maximum, and can only be extended in special circumstances. It must be renewed annually.
Is The Program Right For You?
The first step in the process will be sure that the H-2A program can fulfill the needs of your enterprise. H2 Express staff will discuss your enterprise and its labor needs to determine if the program is right for you. We will explore the temporary need you have, qualifications required for the job, and how the required wage rate and benefits could affect other workers in the operation. We will discuss recurring needs and a detailed job description. Sometimes the program is a natural fit, and other times one must think creatively how to make a contract fit the guidelines.
Consider Record Keeping.
The program has some strict record keeping requirements that must be adhered to. Sometimes this can be viewed as very burdensome, but doing it properly will make audits much easier. H2 Express has developed a record keepers packet that is helpful to be sure one has everything needed. From the beginning, one needs to make a commitment before electing to participate in the program that the proper record keeping will be done.
THE PAPERWORK PROCESS:
H2 Express has a detailed, but easy to understand service agreement where one can choose assistance through the process, or to have a full package of help. Once a company has chosen to work with H2 Express, an account is set up, a down payment is made, and a personal account monitoring site is set up for the customer to follow the progress of his or her case. Notes of what is needed from the customer will be posted along with a projected time line for completing the application. Customers can log on to their account any time to see where they are at in the process. H2 Express makes every effort to have things completed, but sometimes governmental delays out of our control can occur.
Approval From State DOL (Department of Labor)
The first step in the process takes place 60 to 75 days before date of need. During that time, a completed ETA 790 application must be turned into the local state DOL (often called the SWA, or state workforce agency). It must be turned in during that time, and for every day less than 60 days before, a later start date will be in effect. The state has us make amendments and corrections to the application so it is ready to send to the Federal level. Note: We like customers to get us application sheets beginning 90 days before the date of need so we can have papers ready to submit 75 days before date of need rather than at the last minute. Emergency needs do occur from time-to-time, and these must be submitted with a full explanation. The DOL will only allow an emergency application once every few years for a company. Still, the emergency application will have a start date 45 days after the date of submission.
Approval From Federal DOL (USDOL)
Once returned by the state, the approved application can then be used to fill out the federal application which is ETA 9142. The analysts in the Federal (Chicago) office will review the application and request we make any changes they desire. After corrections and changes are made, the application is accepted and advertising instructions are issued. H2 Express will write required newspaper ads for the customer to send out. After the advertising period, H2 Express will submit a recruitment report and if accepted, the USDOL office will issue a certification.
Approval From US Immigration (USCIS)
After the certification is received, H2 Express will fill out form I-129 to get the paperwork needed to make appointments in the consulate. If experience is required, we must name workers and give 7 years worth of their immigration history including 3 years worth of printed documentation of when they were here. If no experience is required, workers do not have to be named. This process takes from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the size of the application and workload that USCIS has at the time.
Appointments At Consulate
The USCIS will send form I-797C as the first step. This will show that the application is received, and that it is in process. If they require additional information, they will send I-797E which we will answer. Once I-797B is received, appointments can be made for workers at the consulate. The time required to get an appointment varies by time of the year and the country from where the workers will arrive. Once visas have been issued, the workers may come to the US.
H2 Express will assist with audits at no extra charge.