H-2A Update: State Department Increases Visa Waiver Capability

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

As you may be aware, USDA has been working diligently with DOL, DHS, and State to limit the disruption in the H-2A workforce caused by COVID-19. On March 26, the State Department took additional steps to increase processing of H-2 visa holders through consulates around the world. USDA applauds these modifications and the expansion of interview waiver eligibility to ensure that the majority of H-2 processing can continue.

Specifically:

  • Secretary Pompeo, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview.
  • Consular officers can, if they so choose, now waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no potential ineligibility.
  • This expansion also increases the period in which returning workers may qualify for an interview waiver. Applicants whose previous visas expired in the last 48 months (increased from 12 months), and who did not require a waiver of ineligibility the last time they applied, do not need to be interviewed in-person if they are applying for the same visa classification as their previous visa.
  • We anticipate the vast majority of otherwise qualified H-2 applicants will now be adjudicated without an interview.

Attached you will find FAQs and a more complete summary. Guidance can be found on Important Announcement on H2 Visas and is available at H-2A Visa Program.

Please note: these activities relate to US Consular activities. Where other countries have travel restrictions or lockdown policies in place, Embassies generally operate by that local guidance. This may impact the application of this guidance. USDA encourages you to monitor the respective Embassy’s webpage for most up to date information.

USDA continues to work with DOL, DHS and State to limit the disruption in the H-2A workforce while protecting the health and safety of federal employees and the individuals seeking entry under the H-2 programs. If there are specific labor-related questions please email aglabor@usda.gov.

View H-2A State Update Q&A