Federal Agencies, FR Regulations & Notices

USCIS Temporary Final Rule on Changes to H-2A Requirements Due to COVID-19 Emergency

4/20/20 AILA Doc. No. 20041730. Business Immigration, H-2A Agricultural Worker

USCIS temporary final rule temporarily removing certain limitations on H-2A employers and workers due to the COVID-19 emergency. The rule is effective from 4/20/20 through 8/18/20. (85 FR 21739, 4/20/20)


8 CFR Parts 214 and 274a

[CIS No. 2667–20; DHS Docket No. USCIS– 2020–0008]

RIN 1615–AC55

Temporary Changes to Requirements Affecting H–2A Nonimmigrants Due to the COVID–19 National Emergency

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

Changes made by the rule include:

  • Temporarily permitting all H-2A employers, regardless of whether the employer is in good standing in E-Verify, to allow individuals who currently hold H-2A status to start working upon the receipt of the employer’s new H-2A petition, but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the H-2A petition, to meet the employer’s needs during the national emergency
  • For H-2A petitions for an extension of stay with a new employer, temporarily granting employment authorization before the petition is approved for a period of up to 45 days beginning on the Received Date on Form I-797 (Notice of Action) or, if the start date of employment occurs after the I-797 Received Date, 45 days beginning on the start date of employment indicated in the H-2A petition
  • Temporarily allowing workers to extend their H-2A period of stay beyond the three-year limitation, without first requiring them to remain outside of the United States for an uninterrupted period of three months
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20041730.