USDOL H-2A and H-2B Programs

Comparing Application Filing Requirements



General Filing Tips & Issues

  • Ensure all required fields on the ETA-9142A/B are completed prior to submission
  • Review your application package carefully and ensure all required documents are included or uploaded electronically
      • Use a “checklist cover sheet” that identifies all items submitted for processing with your application package
      • For more efficient processing, upload separate electronic documents for each document type (e.g., job order, agent agreement) rather than one large file
  • Provide legible copies of supporting documentation — this is a particular problem with contractor documents (e.g., FLC registrations, H-2A surety bonds)
  • Try to file your job order and application as early as the regulatory timeframes permit
  • In H-2B, employer must have a valid prevailing wage determination issued by the NPWC; otherwise application will be rejected
  • Make sure the dates of need, number of workers being requested for certification, and worksite locations match between the job order and Form ETA-9142A/B
  • If using a template to submit applications and the CO issues a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) impacting your template, employers must amend the template to avoid a continuation of the same NOD for each application
  • Ensure the size of workforce and period of employment (i.e., start and end dates of work) requested for H-2A or H-2B certification represents a bona fide business need
  • Requesting a start date of work based on “expected government delays” is not acceptable
  • Changes to the period of employment (start or end dates), especially more than 2 weeks, must be accompanied with an explanation and the CO may request supporting documents
  • In H-2B, job contractors need to demonstrate through documentation its OWN temporary need, not just the need of its employer-client, and can only file based on a seasonal need or a one-time occurrence

H-2A Agricultural Program Application Filing Checklist (non-emergency situation)

Employer will submit the following documents:

    • ETA 9142A
    • Appendix A - signed and dated
    • Itinerary of worksites (if applicable)
    • Workers compensation coverage
    • SWA housing inspection report(s) or other documentation demonstrating rental/public accommodation housing meets standards and sufficient to house all workers
    • Agent agreement/documentation demonstrating authority to represent the employer and MSPA registration (if applicable)

Additional documentation for H-2A labor contractors:

    • Name and location of each fixed-site employer, expected start and end dates of work, and a description of the crops and activities
    • Copy of fully executed work contracts with each fixed-site employer
    • Copy of MSPA FLC Certificate of Registration, where required, identifying the specific FLC activities
    • Proof of ability to discharge financial obligations by submitting an original surety bond document
    • Where the fixed-site employer will provide housing or transportation to workers, proof that:
      • Housing complies with applicable standards and has been certified by the SWA
      • Transportation complies with applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations

Filing Tips for H-2A Labor Contractors

H-2A Labor Contractors must:

    • Organize housing and transportation for worker crews well in advance of filing the job order
    • Provide documentation that rental or other public accommodation housing complies with the applicable local, state, or federal housing standards
    • Prepare for the time it will take to obtain and/or renew Farm Labor Contractor (FLC) documents with Wage and Hour
    • All worksites listed on the ETA Form 9142A and ETA Form 790A must be within the same area of intended employment
    • Applications and job orders containing worksites covering multiple areas of intended employment will not be accepted
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