09-20-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Administrative Actions to Streamline H-2A Process

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Administrative Actions to Streamline H-2A Process

(Washington, D.C. September 20, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement highlighting actions announced by the Department of Labor (DOL) which will modernize the burdensome H2A visa process. First, DOL published a common-sense rule that eliminates the requirement to advertise a job opening in print newspapers instead shifting to advertising on the DOL and State Workforce Agency websites, which are further reaching and more cost effective. Also, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced updates to the pertinent H-2A forms and online filing process for the H-2A temporary agricultural program. These two actions will ease regulatory burdens on our farmers and ranchers, making it easier for them to follow the law and hire farm workers through the H-2A program.

“Both of these actions by DOL are critical changes the Administration is making to improve the H-2A application process,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump is committed to ensuring our farmers and producers have access to a stable, legal agricultural workforce. By streamlining these processes, DOL is bringing the H-2A process into the 21st Century allowing farmers to be able to better and cost-effectively advertise for workers they need and fill out the required forms faster and more efficiently, because no one should have to hire a lawyer to hire a farm worker. I commend President Trump for his continued support of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers.”

Background:

In addition to making it easier for Americans to find and fill open jobs, the Final Rule will reduce regulatory burdens like the requirement that all employers advertise in a print newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment as the method of recruitment. Department of Labor’s system updates increase ease of use for farmers and producers who apply for H-2A employees. As any employer knows, hiring forms, applications and rules are cumbersome, time intensive, and duplicative that lack flexibility and common sense. These changes demonstrate the Trump Administration’s commitment to releasing the regulatory burden from our agricultural producers, making it easier for them to hire a stable and legal workforce. The more time a farmer spends on paperwork, the less productive they are, hurting their business and way of life.

DOL’s new labor application process modernizes two forms by making them electronic forms, removing time intensive paper applications that require delivery via mailing. The Department of Labor will continue to accept online submissions of the current Form ETA-9142A (and job orders uploaded using the current Form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order) through the iCERT System until October 16, 2019. Beginning October 1, an employer seeking to employ emergency, H-2A workers or those starting on or after December 15, 2019 must submit a job order using the new form ETA-790/790A (and corresponding addendums) and an H-2A application using the new form ETA-9142A (and corresponding appendices) in the FLAG System.For more information, visit DOL’sForeign Labor Application Gateway(FLAG) page.

DOL’s Electronic Recruitment Rule rescinds the requirements to advertise a job opening in the newspaper, expands and enhances electronic job register, and utilizes State Workforce Agencies to promote job openings.

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