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Accession Number PB2013-101333
Title H-2A VISA Program: Modernization and Improved Guidance Could Reduce Employer Application Burden.
Publication Date Sep 2012
Media Count 49p
Personal Author N/A
Abstract Over 90 percent of employer applications for H-2A workers were approved in fiscal year (FY) 2011, but some employers experienced processing delays. For example, the Department of Labor (Labor) processed 63 percent of applications in a timely manner in FY 2011, but 37 percent were processed after the deadline, including 7 percent that were approved less than 15 days before workers were needed. This left some employers little time for the second phase of the application process, which is managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and for workers to obtain visas from the Department of State (State). Although workers can apply for visas online, most of the H-2A process involves paper handling, which contributes to processing delays. In addition, employers who need workers at different times of the season must repeat the entire process for each group of workers. Although the agencies lack data on the reasons for processing delays, employers reported delays due to increased scrutiny by Labor and DHS when these agencies implemented new rules and procedures intended to improve program integrity and protect workers. For example, in FY 2011, Labor notified 63 percent of employers that their applications required changes or additional documentation to comply with its new rules, up sharply from previous years.
Keywords Agricultural workers
Employer applications
H-2A Visa Program
State workforce agencies

Source Agency General Accounting Office
NTIS Subject Category 98B - Agricultural Economics
96A - Domestic Commerce, Marketing, & Economics
Corporate Author Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1302
Contract Number N/A

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