Immigration Options for Seasonal Workers

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Now that summer is upon us, many employers are looking to seasonal workers to fulfill their employment needs. Depending on the type of work to be performed and the duration of employment, there are a number of work visa options for seasonal workers, including the following:

  • The H-2A visa is available for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers. The visa is limited to citizens or nationals of specific designated countries, however.
  • The H-2B visa is available for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural workers. Like the H-2A visa, it is limited to citizens or nationals of specific designated countries.
  • The H-3 visa is available for foreign nationals to receive training, other than graduate or medical or academic training, that is not available in his or her home country. It is also available for foreign nationals to receive education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
  • The L-1 visa is available for intra-company transfers. Generally, an applicant must have worked abroad as an executive, manager or specialized employee for at least one continuous year within the previous three year period in order to qualify for the L-1 intra-company transfer visa.
  • The H-1B visa is available for foreign nationals employed in specialty occupations, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. Although the H-1B visa lasts for three years, it is subject to strict quota caps.
  • The P visa is available for certain entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who wish to work temporarily in the U.S. or as a group entering the U.S. as a part of a reciprocal exchange program.
  • The TN visa is available for residents of Canada and Mexico who will enter the U.S. to be engaged in activities at a professional level, which is generally defined as a job that requires at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials.
  • The O visa is available for workers with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or the motion picture and television industry.

Regardless of the type of work performed and the duration of employment, all employers need to file a Form I-9 for each employee. Federal regulators are cracking down on I-9 noncompliance, issuing hefty fines for noncompliance, so it is incredibly important that employers be vigilant about complying with I-9 requirements.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Shapiro | Attorney Advertising

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