In addition, employers must meet all additional requirements for the visa program for which they are applying. Employers often contact Farmer Law because they need help determining which visa is right for their needs and want support in establishing which visa they may qualify for. Our legal team can guide you to the visa program most likely to set you up for success.
One reason companies turn to Farmer Law when they need to hire foriegn workers is because much of the application process for H-2 visas falls on employers. Employers must be able to show they qualify for the visa program and must take the initial steps of securing labor certification and applying with the USCIS. There are three main steps, though each one can include multiple requirements.
The workers themselves will need to take steps once they have a job offer from an employer to gain admission to the United States and to secure their visas. Even once a worker is hired through an H-2 visa program, the employer must continue to stay compliant with all rules and regulations of the visa program and must maintain proper documentation for their workers in case of a DOL audit as well.
Trying to tackle each of these steps in addition to the hours of work the average employer must put into running a business is daunting. This is one of the key reasons why it may be beneficial to contact Farmer Law to have our attorneys take care of many of these steps for you.
The application process for an H-2 visa is complex and there are several issues employers will want to be aware of. Farmer Law routinely works to resolve the following issues, which many companies face when seeking to hire non-U.S. workers.
The DOL and USCIS examine applications closely and employers need to definitively prove that they are eligible for a specific program and will not be harming prevailing wages or working conditions for U.S. workers by hiring foreign nationals. Not submitting the right documentation or enough evidence can mean a petition is denied.
Kyle Farmer has also noticed that the DOL has become stricter in reviewing applications, and this can mean that having an experienced attorney can help employers avoid small, accidental mistakes which can cause serious issues. If an employer fails to prove seasonality, for example, this can cause delays or a denial which impacts a business’s ability to successfully plant, cultivate, or harvest their crops.
Running an agricultural business or business in any sector is time- and labor-intensive. Owners of these organizations are often focused on their operations and may not have the time or the inclination to deal with complex and lengthy immigration applications. Farmer Law helps organizations save time by taking care of the visa application as well as other parts of the hiring process. Kyle notes that with Farmer Law “Our goal is that we don’t become the bottleneck.” The team understands not every organization has the HR and legal team to handle applications and immigration questions. We become that team to save you time.
Securing H-2 visas is only part of the equation. Employers then need to find, attract, vet, and hire workers from qualifying countries. Some workers may have questions or worries about entering the United States or going to a consulate or embassy, too. Farmer Law routinely helps agricultural businesses and companies in other sectors find the right workers for their open roles. We work to smooth out the entire process of getting an H-2 visa, getting workers, and getting workers into the U.S.
In some cases, the applicant for an H-2A visa may be hiring workers to work for another business, such as a farm. If there are any problems with the applications, the farm or other business where the workers are employed may face liability and challenges. Farmer Law routinely works to protect applicants and any of their associated businesses or clients from exposure.
H-2 visas are for temporary and seasonal work. Workers on H-2 visas may be able to stay for up to ten months or one year, with renewals possible, but many businesses also have ongoing needs. Farmer Law works with these employers to help them find solutions, so they have the right workforce in place when they need it.
Additional challenges can occur at any time during the process of filing, which is why having a strategic partner like Farmer Law can help. Farmer Law is always available to help you stay compliant, create a strong H-2 application, and help you find the right workers for your needs. Our goal is to work to remove barriers preventing you from having the productive workforce you need.
If you are a company or organization in need of seasonal agricultural workers or temporary non-agricultural workers, H-2A or H-2B -2B visas may be right for you. You have a few options when it comes to these visa programs. You can try to apply yourself or you can try to work with an agency. You can also work with Farmer Law. There are many companies, farms, and organizations that turn to us for their H-2A visa applications, and it is because we offer many advantages.
Many law firms have immigration as one small practice area, and even then, the immigration focus may include helping people to come to the United States as well as helping employers. For Farmer Law, helping employers hire workers and apply for visas is, as our founder notes, “the bulk of what we do.” This is a harder area of immigration law, but our team relishes the challenge.
We have concentrated on this area as our primary focus and this has allowed us to see how different employers file. We have worked with this area of law extensively, so we know the best strategies and common obstacles for employers in this type of visa application. This is important because it means we have a level of expertise that allows us to make recommendations to clients, to advise them, and to support them, even if their labor or immigration needs are complex.
Kyle has a passion for “…solving problems for employers. Immigration is a tool, but the actual underlying passion derives from ‘ok, employer has this problem—they can’t fill this position. What can we do to leverage immigration law to solve that problem?’ That’s where my passion is.” When you come to Farmer Law with a need for workers, we help you discern which visa program is most appropriate and we help you apply. As Kyle Farmer says, “Clients come to us knowing they have a problem” and “we tell them how we can meet that role.”
The goal of Farmer Law is to help you find actionable solutions for your hiring needs – not just apply for a visa. By customizing a solution, we may be able to help you find an answer you may not have considered before. Application facilitators just push an application through. As your strategic partner, Farmer Law takes a look at how your program is run, what you need, and then tailors the immigration law to you so you get results.
If you need temporary workers, our team can determine which visa category is right for you and we can take care of much of the application process, freeing up your time. We can also help you find and hire qualified workers, help with audits if the DOL contacts you, answer your questions, and more.
Our goal is to be your strategic partner, helping you with your overall hiring and immigration needs. As Kyle explains it, “we can solve the whole problem.” This is unique when compared with agencies, which may only offer specific services for their clients.
When working with employers, we have come to understand the difference a few weeks can make in a growing or harvesting season. Employers feel a sense of urgency about getting workers into roles. They may feel less urgency about fulfilling all the paperwork and needs of the DOL and USCIS, in fairness because these government bodies do not always carefully explain the reasons for their regulations. At Farmer Law, we work to get your workforce to you when you need them, so you experience less disruption, waste, and loss.
Employers can take advantage of the H-2A or H-2B visa programs or may wish to hire through the TN visa program or secure a green card for permanent employees. According to Kyle Farmer, all these visas “are often used by the same employer.” If your hiring needs are complex, we can help you target the right visa programs and apply for multiple types of visas.
Unlike most agencies and other law firms, Farmer Law teaches employers about visa programs. This is important so our clients understand the rules of the H-2 program, so they are better poised to stay compliant. It’s rare for bad actors to be hurt by DOL audits; in most cases, well-intentioned employers who don’t know or understand the rules run afoul of regulations. Our approach is two-pronged: we work to keep employers compliant, and we empower employers with an understanding of the rules.
If you are considering working with an agent on your H-2A visa or H-2B application, you should know that agents can only file and work on the paperwork. It is illegal for them to give legal advice. However, during the course of the application you may need legal advice and representation – if you are audited, for example, or simply if you have legal questions about overtime, transferring a worker to another job site, or any of the other questions which can arise. At Farmer Law, we may provide legal advice and representation if you need it.
Agents can help file paperwork, but do not have the level of expertise in the law. Attorneys at Farmer Law have years of experience helping employers and our team understands the law, meaning we can help you stay compliant and can help you reduce the risk of your visa being denied.
Since we understand the laws behind audits and H-2 applications, we can work to reduce your risk of being audited. We can also reduce the vulnerability for any farmer or business where you are sending H-2 workers after the application process. We make sure everything is in order so you can hire and take care of your operations with confidence.
Kyle explains at Farmer Law “We get to appeal DOL decisions and have litigated decisions and have won many cases. We know the law on this immigration filing that other attorneys don’t touch to the extent that we can set precedents with it.” Our team has also helped employers navigate denials and DOL audits. Nobody wants to be audited or to be denied for the workers they need. If it happens to you, you have a dedicated partner in Farmer Law working to represent you.
As Kyle Farmer clarifies, “agents are not lawyers” and they can vary widely. Some agents are former Department of Labor employees but there is no oversight for these businesses, so while some support their clients, some have been charged and penalized for misappropriating visas or breaking immigration law. Kyle summarizes it simply: “With agencies, you don’t know what you are getting – are you getting the criminal who is going to end up in jail or are you getting the knowledgeable ex-DOL employee who knows what they are doing?”
With Farmer Law, there is no guesswork – you know you are getting attorneys who work with employers and who are in good standing with their state bar. You have a high degree of reassurance that the professionals working on your visa application are qualified.
Kyle Farmer points out that he continues to handle “a lot of the legal work and also a lot of the new client consultations and case strategy. My favorite part is the case strategy.” Your case is handled by the main partners and most experienced attorneys.
With agencies or when you try to apply yourself, you may need to start with a specific visa category in mind. This is not the case when you work with Farmer Law. As Kyle Farmer explains, when Farmer Law meets with a new client, “we ask them a lot of questions about their business and operations and guide them towards a visa category.”
By getting to know your business, Farmer Law can help you apply for the right visa category, so you have a strong chance of having your petition accepted. We can explain why you need an H-2A or H-2B visa because of how it ties in with your needs and operations. We have the level of knowledge to help you make the right decisions.