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.

If you have any questions about H-2A employment or the new rules, Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you.