Farm Labor Contractor Bonds (Federal H-2A)
Farm Labor Contractor Bond (Federal H-2A) Information
The U.S. Department of Labor requires surety bonds from H-2A employers engaged in the recruiting, soliciting, hiring, employing, furnishing, housing, or transporting of agricultural workers. The surety bond must be written to cover liability incurred during the term of the work contract period listed on the H-2A application and must remain in effect for a period of at least 2 years from the expiration date of the labor certification. H-2ALCs must obtain the surety bond in the following amounts:
- $5,000 for a labor certification with fewer than 25 employees;
- $10,000 for a labor certification with 25 to 49 employees;
- $20,000 for a labor certification with 50 to 74 employees;
- $50,000 for a labor certification with 75 to 99 employees; and
- $75,000 for a labor certification with 100 or more employees.
There are also several states that require state farm labor surety bonds.
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H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers
The official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services H-2A program allows for approved employers to employ foreign workers for temporary positions. There are critical standards in place to become an official H-2ALC. The standards ensure that the positions are temporary or seasonal in nature, that there are not enough qualified or available US workers, and that similar US workers are not otherwise put at a disadvantage financially.
The H-2A program covers the spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the worker.
The H-2A Surety Bond
The H-2A Surety bond must be written to cover liability incurred during the term of the work contract period listed on the H-2A Application and must remain in effect for a period of at least 2 years from the expiration date of the labor certification. The bond amount (aka bond penalty) varies depending on the number of workers covered by the bond. The bond protects the rights of the foreign nationals employed under the H-2A and ensures that the employer follows the labor practices and standards outlined by The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the H-2A program.