On March 26, the Department of the State and the Department of Homeland Security announced the authorization of “consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview.”

Following the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:

“Temporarily waiving in-person interviews for H-2 visa applicants streamlines the application process and helps provide steady labor for the agriculture sector during this time of uncertainty,” said Secretary Perdue. “H-2 labor is vital to the economy and food security of America – our farmers and producers depend on these workers to continue to feed and clothe the world.”

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross thanked the federal government for these changes by releasing the following statement:

“I want to thank USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for elevating the importance of streamlining the process for eligible H2A applicants who have worked in the United States before or who are already here.  Secretary Perdue understands the challenges that farmers across the country, and especially in California, face as the work continues to plant and harvest our crops.  I have such respect for all agricultural workers who are vital to a safe, secure food supply.”

Read the full announcement, here.
Learn more from the USDA on this announcement by clicking here.

Additionally, the Department of Labor has issued two extensive FAQs on H2-A visas. The first FAQ factsheet released 3/20 can be found here. The second FAQ factsheet released 4/1 can be found here.