COVID-19: Temporary Rule Change Provides More Flexibility for H-2A Agricultural Workers

The Department of Homeland Security has published a rule effective April 20, 2020 through August 18, 2020 that temporarily relaxes certain regulations governing H-2A temporary agricultural workers.

Because of the importance of farm workers for the nation’s food production and security, the rule will allow H-2A workers to start work earlier in limited circumstances, and to remain in the U.S. for longer than the ordinary maximum limit of three years.

With U.S. consulates and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices having limited operations due to COVID-19, the rule will create more flexibility for agricultural employers to employ H-2A workers who are already working in the U.S.

The rule change is slated to last for 120 days, but may be extended if needed due to the COVID-19 crisis.  For more details, read the rule here.