May 18, 2016. ETA Announces it is Streamlining the H-2A Process for Agricultural Employers: Procedural Change to the Form ETA-9142A, Appendix A

OFLC is pleased to announce that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the Department's request to update the Appendix A in two ways: (1) to reflect new regulatory requirements contained in the 2015 H-2A Herder Final Rule; and (2) to simplify the H-2A process for employers submitting this document alongside their I-129 petitions to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This approval came as part of the Department's 3-year extension of the Form ETA-9142A and Appendix A. The remainder of the data collected on the Form ETA-9142A remains unchanged.

When filing an H-2A application on the Form ETA-9142A, an employer is required to submit a signed and dated copy of the Appendix A, which contains the requisite program assurances and obligations. Prior to this announcement, where the OFLC granted a temporary labor certification application, the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) sent the employer a certified H-2A application containing a second copy of the Appendix A issued on "blue security paper." The employer and its authorized attorney or agent were each then required to sign and date this second copy of Appendix A again and then submit it to the USCIS.

The Department's new Form will make it unnecessary to sign and submit a second copy of the Appendix A. An employer will now only need to sign and date the Appendix A once at the time of filing the H-2A application and retain the original in its administrative file. Then, where the OFLC grants a temporary labor certification, the Chicago NPC will send a certified H-2A application and a Final Determination letter to the employer by means normally assuring next day delivery, including electronic mail, and a copy, if applicable, to the employer's authorized attorney or agent. The employer and its authorized attorney or agent will be instructed to complete three steps:

Step 1 Complete the newly modified footer on each page of the original Appendix A (retained in its administrative file), adding the case number, status, and period of employment from the certified Form ETA-9142A;

Step 2 Retain the original Appendix A along with a copy of the certified Form ETA-9142A, as required by 20 CFR 655.167; and

Step 3 Submit signed and dated copy of the Appendix A, together with the original certified Form ETA-9142A issued by the OFLC, directly to the USCIS.

This change will save employers and their agents or attorneys from mailing each other paper forms to sign them a second time - which is effectively required under the current form.

TRANSITION PROCEDURES

  • Employers with either a currently pending H-2A application or those who file a new H-2A application prior to June 15, 2016, containing the previous Appendix A will be provided with a copy of the revised Appendix A at the time the Chicago NPC grants a temporary labor certification. They will also receive instructions from the Chicago NPC regarding how to complete the revised Appendix A for submission to the USCIS.
  • On or after June 15, 2016, employers or their authorized representatives filing a new H-2A application must submit a signed and dated copy of the revised Appendix A containing the program assurances and obligations that comply with the 2010 H-2A Final Rule and 2015 H-2A Herder Final Rule. Otherwise, the Chicago NPC will issue either a Minor Deficiency Email or a Notice of Deficiency requesting that the employer provide a signed and dated copy of the revised Appendix A.

To obtain a copy of the revised Appendix A, please click here.

To obtain a copy of the Form ETA-9142 and general instructions, please click here.