H-2A Visa Program: Modernization and Improved Guidance Could Reduce Employer Application Burden

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over 90 percent of employer applications for H-2A workers were approved in fiscal year (FY) 2011, but some employers experienced processing delays. For example, the Department of Labor (Labor) processed 63 percent of applications in a timely manner in FY 2011, but 37 percent were processed after the deadline, including 7 percent that were approved less than 15 days before workers were needed. This left some employers little time for the second phase of the application process, which is managed by the Department of Homeland Security ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 12, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over 90 percent of employer applications for H-2A workers were approved in fiscal year (FY) 2011, but some employers experienced processing delays. For example, the Department of Labor (Labor) processed 63 percent of applications in a timely manner in FY 2011, but 37 percent were processed after the deadline, including 7 percent that were approved less than 15 days before workers were needed. This left some employers little time for the second phase of the application process, which is managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and for workers to obtain visas from the Department of State (State). Although workers can apply for visas online, most of the H-2A process involves paper handling, which contributes to processing delays. In addition, employers who need workers at different times of the season must repeat the entire process for each group of workers. Although the agencies lack data on the reasons for processing delays, employers reported delays due to increased scrutiny by Labor and DHS when these agencies implemented new rules and procedures intended to improve program integrity and protect workers. For example, in FY 2011, Labor notified 63 percent of employers that their applications required changes or additional documentation to comply with its new rules, up sharply from previous years."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 12, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. H-2A Visa Program: Modernization and Improved Guidance Could Reduce Employer Application Burden, report, September 12, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302601/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.