Understanding the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program

Sponsored by the Agricultural and Food Law Consortium


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U.S. farmers grow, harvest, and market the food that feeds the nation and much of the world.  Unfortunately, each year many U.S. farmers struggle to find a willing and qualified supply of domestic agricultural employees.  In response to this dilemma, the federal government has created the Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program, more commonly known as H-2A.  Under H-2A, qualifying employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic agricultural workers may petition the federal government for permission to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers into the U.S. for temporary or seasonal agricultural employment.  This presentation is intended to provide a basic understanding of the H-2A program and an overview of the steps necessary for implementation.



This webinar was recorded on October 18, 2017.  To listen to a recording of the webinar, please click here.


M. Sean High, Esq.

Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law

Born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Sean developed a strong interest in agriculture while working summers on his grandparents’ dairy farm.  He is a graduate of Penn State Law and is a staff attorney at the Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law where his duties include researching agricultural law issues and presenting his findings to agricultural producers, landowners, business professionals, attorneys, legislators, government officials, community groups, and the general public.  Sean is currently the author of the Penn State Agricultural Law Brief, the Penn State Agricultural Law Weekly Review, and the Penn State Agricultural Law Blog.

Research & Materials:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers

U.S. Department of Labor:

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program Details

Factsheet #26: Section H-2A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

U.S. Code of Federal Regulations: 20 C.F.R. Part 655 Subpart B