What is the H2-A Program?
The "Guest Worker" program is administered by the federal government, and allows citizens of other countries to come to work legally in the United States for a temporary period of time. The term "H2-A" is simply the name of the visa that the government gives to those workers that are approved to enter the country to work in agriculture. Since NCGA's members are all agricultural employers, the terms "Guest Worker" and "H2-A Worker" will be used interchangeably.
How Does the Program Work?
Employers who wish to use the guest worker program must first be certified by both the United States Department of Labor (DOL), and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In order to be certified, the employer must first attempt to recruit United States citizens who are willing and able to perform the work they need done. Part of this recruitment effort involves working with the North Carolina Employment Security Commission (ESC). Once the employer is cerified, they must petition the United States Consulate to issue the H2-A visa that allows the worker to enter the country and work. The paperwork process takes approximately 60 days, and new users are encouraged to submit the necessary information to NCGA at least 90 days before the time that they will need workers.
Where does NCGA Fit In?
NCGA works with you to ensure that all of the paperwork and other administrative tasks necessary to successfully us the guest worker program are taken care of. To put it simply, we deal with the beaurocrats so that you can concentrate on what you do best- farming! In addition to working with the necessary government agencies, NCGA also works with recruiters to ensure that your workers will be ready when you are. Many of our members have workers who return year after year! NCGA has a field staff that includes many Spanish speakers who assist you in resolving any communication issues that arise while your workers are here, as well as an office staff that will ensure that you remain in compliance with the necessary government regulations.
How Can I Join?
If you are ready to let NCGA ensure that all of your labor related needs are met, then simply give us a call. We will answer all of your questions, and walk you through the first steps necessary to get started. It's never to early. If you are ready to start planning for your next season, we are ready to help!