Feb 18, 2016
DOL backup will delay H-2A workers

In late January, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced delays in H-2A and H-2B applications due to network issues. In early February, wafla, a human resources association for seasonal employers based in Washington state, began experiencing application delays and contacted DOL to remind the agency of its requirement to process applications in a timely manner, according to the association.

DOL has responded to wafla and Congressional inquiries, stating that it is doing the best it can, but warns that labor certification determinations are going to be late due to several factors, according to wafla.

The DOL delays risk workers arriving late, just as happened last year when the government faced delays due to a visa printing problem, according to wafla.

In light of these delays, wafla said employers should make sure their applications specify the earliest possible date of need, and are filed as early as possible (75 days prior to date of need).

The H-2A guest-worker program is important to farmers and workers in Washington state. It is anticipated the program will provide legal presence for approximately 15,000 farm workers in 2016, according to wafla.

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