Relaxed H-2A Rules Continue

Jackson Lewis P.C.
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Due to the continuation of the COVID-19 national emergency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to continue its temporary loosening of H-2A rules to make it easier to employ temporary, seasonal agricultural workers.

Under the rule:

  • Employers can continue to petition to employ foreign workers who are already in the U.S. in H-2A status but who are working for a different employer;
  • Employees will be able to start working for the new employer once the petition has been received by USCIS (but no earlier than the start date on the petition); and
  • Employees will have work authorization for 45 days while the case is pending.

Previously, DHS also allowed workers to remain in the U.S. beyond the usual three-year limit, but that piece of flexibility has been eliminated from the rule extension.

For I-9 purposes, employees may present as List A documentation:

  • An unexpired I-94 showing H-2A status; and
  • An unexpired foreign passport.

In the Additional Information field, employers should indicate:

  • “45 Day Extension”; and
  • The date the I-129 was submitted.

Reverification will be required by the end of the 45-day period.

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.

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