We are looking for employees with experience and skills
We are looking for hardworking employees looking for a great opportunity in the USA to work on a seasonal H-2A Visa.
We are looking for employees who are:
- Hard workers
- Mature individuals who are responsible
- Adaptable – You must be able to work in a group and be able to read, write and understand English. You must also be able to communicate well.
- You must have a valid passport
- You must have a driver’s license, preferring a Code 14 license (heavy vehicle license)
The employer first must apply at the Department of Labor to be able to employ H-2A employees. The employer must qualify for the program. In order to quality, they have to get a housing approval by the Department of Labor, and the job has to be advertised to see if there are any American employees that may be able to fill the position. The department of Labor then gives the employer a Labor certification, which allows the employer to file the application with the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) to get the work permit. This process takes about 75 days. Since we do work with the government, and processing times vary, it can take a week or two longer in some cases.
The employer will give you a W-2 tax form at the end of your contract. Make sure you get the tax form at the end of your contact, you will need it when you go to the consulate for your next season. When you arrive in the US you need to get yourself a social security number as soon as possible. Ask your employer to help you with this. You will need your passport, visa and I-94 to get a social security card. You should also have an original birth certificate or a notarized copy in case required. Without a social security card you will not qualify for a CDL or be able to open a bank account.
It is a nonimmigrant, seasonal agricultural (farming) visa. Seasonal demand determines placement periods and can be for a maximum of ten months. H-2A workers will receive reimbursement for their transportation costs from their home country to their place of employment. The employer, at no cost to the employee, will provide a furnished house for the duration of the contract. The employee is responsible for his/her own cooking and provision of food. Hourly rate is a flat rate (minimum prevailing wage determined by the Department of Labor – differs from state to state). No taxes are withheld. Employer provides Workman’s Compensation or equivalent insurance for work related injuries.
Talk to your employer about different banking options. It is important to open your own bank account, and make sure you get an ATM card. An ATM card will help you deposit money into your account, and be able to withdraw money. When you want to transfer money from the US to your home country, you will need:
- Your home country’s bank name and address
- Your bank’s swift code
- Your bank’s routing number
- Your account number
Employee has to have knowledge of harvesting and must have a heavy vehicle license (International License). You also have to get a heavy duty license in the United States, called a CDL. It is not a difficult test, but you have to study for it ahead of time. The employers will request a drug test. If you do not pass the drug test you will be fired and sent back to your home country on your own cost. When it comes to housing, harvesting crews live in mobile homes and in some cases, employers do use motels. This makes it very important to have a good working relationship with other employees working with you, since you will be spending a lot of time together.
The mobile homes meet the Department of Labor standards when it comes to the necessities. Housing is free. If you have to provide your own meals, there will be facilities to do so. For the harvesting crew, you can have fixed salaries per month or it may be per hour. If it is per hour, you will be paid every two weeks. Hourly pay rates are determined by the Department of Labor and are different from state to state.
The weather plays a big role in harvesting. You have to be prepared that in some cases there might be rainy days where you will not be as busy; there might also be a drought, and this too could cause you have periods of time where you are not working. During the good days, you will be expected to work long hours in high pressure conditions.
- Get an international driver’s license – if required by your employer
- Get medical insurance and life insurance to cover you during your stay in the US (Travel Insurance). The employer will NOT provide insurance coverage.
- Exchange your foreign currency for Dollars in your home country at the airport. $300 is a good start for the first two weeks.
- Lock your luggage and keep your hand luggage with you at all times.
- Remember some reading material for the flight, and for layovers.
- Keep all your documentation and your passport with you, and protect it. Losing a passport will create a lot of problems and even the inability to work.
- Remember not to watch other people’s luggage if they ask, it could be a trap.
- Keep your employer’s phone number with you as well as the address where you will be working.
- Take your bank information with you, in case you want to transfer money.
- You will receive an I94 form when you enter into America.This form must be kept in your passport at all times.
- Groups that will be working at the same employer, make sure you stay together until the employer picks you up.
- International telephone cards are available at any gas station for $5 to $50. You can use the phone cards with any phone, even home phones. On the back of the card is a 1-800 number which you have to dial first. Then there is a pin number you have to scratch off in order to see. Enter the pin number and then dial the South African number. Remember to first dial 011 27… before the South African number. (the 0 of the area code does not get entered. If your number in South Africa is 053 781 0463, you will dial 011 27 53 781 0463).
The employer will pay back the plane ticket according to DOL regulations. You must complete the entire contract to the get full reimbursement for your flight, the employer is not responsible for the return part of your transportation until the end of the contract. The necessary arrangements will be made by the employer to pick you up at the airport.
The employer will be responsible for free transportation from home to work and back as well as to get to town to buy groceries. You are responsible for your own transportation outside of those requirements.
- Remember that you are in the US and you have to follow the laws of the US.
- Ask your employer what he/she expects from you.
- Your rate of pay will always match that on your contract and should not be different.
- If you smoke or drink, ask your employer what their requirements are and respect those requirements.
- Record all agreements so that there cannot be any misunderstanding
- If you are unhappy, discuss it with your employer and only if you cannot get an acceptable result, call the office in the US.
- You are in US and it is expected that you speak english, if you don’t it can cause problems.
- In the US, the electricity is 110V instead of 220V.
- Wal-Mart is a good, inexpensive place to shop.
- The law in the US is very strict and it is enforced. Don’t drive over the speed limit, don’t use drugs, and don’t use or buy alcohol if you are under 21. The legal drinking age in the US is 21; if you get caught for any of these things you can be put in jail.