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H-2A and COVID-19

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the COVID-19, or new coronavirus, outbreak. We will continue to share resources related to COVID-19 and the H-2A Visa Program on this page.

Updates

Information to Identity Eligible Workers

USDA and DOL have identified approximately 53,000 H-2A and H-2B certified positions that have expiring contracts in the coming weeks. There will be workers leaving these positions who could be available to transfer to a different employer’s labor certification. The data, available below, includes the number of certified worker positions, the current employer name and contact, attorney/agent name and contact, and the worksite address. This information will be a resource to H-2A employers whose workforce has been delayed because of travel restrictions or visa processing limitations. Employers should be aware that all statutory and regulatory requirements continue to apply.  Employers are encouraged to monitor www.travel.state.gov for the latest information and should monitor the relevant Embassy/Consular websites for specific operational information. 

Download an Excel file of this information. (Previous version available in this Excel file.)

H-2A and the Paycheck Protection Program

June 25, 2020

From the FAQs on the Department of the Treasury’s website:

  • Question 32: Does the cost of a housing stipend or allowance provided to an employee as part of compensation count toward payroll costs? Answer: Yes. Payroll costs includes all cash compensation paid to employees, subject to the $100,000 annual compensation per employee limitation.

  • Question 33: Is there existing guidance to help PPP applicants and lenders determine whether an individual employee’s principal place of residence is in the United States? Answer: PPP applicants and lenders may consider IRS regulations (26 CFR § 1.121- 1(b)(2)) when determining whether an individual employee’s principal place of residence is in the United States.

  • Question 34: Are agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers eligible for PPP loans? Answer: Yes. Agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers are eligible for PPP loans if: (i) the business has 500 or fewer employees, or (ii) the business fits within the revenue-based sized standard, which is average annual receipts of $1 million. Additionally, agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers can qualify for PPP loans as a small business concern if their business meets SBA’s “alternative size standard.” The “alternative size standard” is currently: (1) maximum net worth of the business is not more than $15 million, and (2) the average net income after Federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) of the business for the two full fiscal years before the date of the application is not more than $5 million. For all of these criteria, the applicant must include its affiliates in its calculations. Link to Applicable Affiliation Rules for the PPP.

  • Question 35: Are agricultural and other forms of cooperatives eligible to receive PPP loans? Answer: As long as other PPP eligibility requirements are met, small agricultural cooperatives and other cooperatives may receive PPP loans.

More information on the program is available at treasury.gov

Embassy Statuses

Guidance on US-Mexico Border Closure

 

Department of Labor and USCIS Updates

 

For more information on USDA and the Coronavirus, visit USDA's main Coronavirus page