Over the last week, our blog has been exploring more about the H2-A program, which enables U.S.-based agricultural companies to retain the services of foreign nationals to fill temporary agricultural jobs. Indeed, we first discussed the requirements these companies must satisfy to be considered eligible for H-2A classification, while last time, we discussed the rights and responsibilities of H-2A workers.
We'll conclude this topic in today's post, examining some of the notification requirements to which H-2A employers are subject.
Are H-2A employers required to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services if H-2A workers fail to appear for work?
Regulations dictate that H-2A employers must take steps to notify USCIS within two workdays in the event of either of the following:
- The H-2A worker fails to appear for work within five days of the latter of 1) the start date specified on the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker or 2) the start date the employer previously set.
- The H-2A worker absconds without notice and is absent without consent for five consecutive workdays.
Are H-2A employers required to notify USCIS if H-2A workers are terminated?
H-2A employers are required to notify USCIS within two workdays if an H-2A worker is fired prior to the completion of the job for which their services were originally retained.
Are H-2A employers required to notify USCIS if H-2A workers finish their work early?
H-2A employers are required to notify USCIS within two workdays if an H-2A worker finishes the job for which their services were originally retained more than 30 days earlier than the date outlined in the petition.
What happens if an H-2A employer fails to notify USCIS of no shows, abscondment, termination or early completion?
Failure to comply with these notification requirements or show good cause for late notifications may result in the H-2A employer having to pay $10 in liquidated damages per infraction.
Here's hoping the foregoing discussion has proven insightful for both prospective H-2A employers and workers. As always, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you have questions or concerns relating to the program or any other visa-related matters.