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H-2A Employers and Agents

New process for submitting H-2A applications effective October 1, 2019

The H-2A program is switching over to the FLAG system (, a new online portal for filing the H-2A application. Employers and agents must create an account to access the system.

  • Beginning on October 1st, employers should use the new forms within the FLAG system to submit their H-2A applications.
    • Under this new system, users will submit their ETA 790s directly through the FLAG system, not to the SWA.
    • Our office will get a notification from the FLAG system that your application has been submitted for review.
    • Our correspondence with you regarding the  ETA 790 application will still take place via email or telephone. Therefore, it is crucial that the employer/agent provide good contact information for the SWA to use for questions and additional correspondence.
  • Job orders that have already been submitted directly to the SWA, with a start date on or before December 14th, 2019, can continue their filing in the iCert system.

For more details regarding the roll-out of the FLAG system, as well as other information, please see the OFLC announcement related to the change (scroll down to the H-2A-specific announcement, posted 8/27):

We also encourage you to reach out to the USDOL with any technical questions that you may have related to the system and the filing timelines. Technical resources from the USDOL are located on the FLAG system page at


Sexual Harassment Prevention

For information and resources to help business owners comply with New York's new sexual harassment prevention regulations, visit our page on combating sexual harassment in the workplace

General Information

The federal H-2A temporary agricultural worker program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employment is of a seasonal nature where it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle or a specific aspect of a longer cycle, and requires labor levels in excess of those necessary for ongoing, year-round operations. Employment is of a temporary nature where the employer's need to fill the position with a temporary worker will, except in extraordinary circumstances, last no longer than 10 months.

For further information, including a detailed description of the program, timeline and best practices, please watch our informational webinar below. Please note the minimum subsistence rate was recently changed and it is now $12.46 per day, not $12.07 per day as stated during the webinar.

In order to participate in the H-2A program, the employer must prepare the federal ETA Form 790 Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order. The New York State Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification Unit (FLCU) pre-approves the job order. The employer must submit the completed ETA 790 to the FLCU no more than 75 days and no fewer than 60 days prior to the employer's date of need.

After the job order is received and entered into the New York State Job Bank by FLCU staff, the employer will receive confirmation that the job order is approved. He or she may then submit the pre-approved ETA Form 790 and ETA Form 9142A to the USDOL's Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC). The job order must be identified as one that will be used in connection with a future Application for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142A). The job order must meet the terms and conditions of 20 CFR 653.501 and 20 CFR 655.135.

For more information about the H-2A program, read our introductory document.

Agents Acting on Behalf of New York’s H-2A Employers

The agents/attorneys listed are those that New York’s H-2A employers currently hire to complete H-2A related paperwork, recruit workers from foreign countries, and provide general assistance in the H-2A process. New York’s FLCU is not allowed to endorse any one representative over any others. This list of agents may be provided to employers who would like to utilize the services of these individuals.

H-2A Recruitment Tool

Participation in the H-2A Guest Worker Visa program carries with it a number of requirements for employers including documentation of his or her efforts in recruiting domestic workers for the H-2A job order.  Several H-2A employers have contacted the New York State Department of Labor's Agriculture Labor Program asking if there is a template for the recruitment report. Since the U.S. Department of Labor does not currently provide such a template, the New York State Department of Labor has created a tool, Form AL 156,  to assist employers in complying with this federal requirement.  The tool was created as a service to agricultural employers, but employers are not required to use it. For a more detailed explanation about the tool, please view this description of the H-2A Referral Tool.

H-2A Termination Tool

This form, Form AL 156.4 offers guidance to help H-2A employers comply with federal and New York State requirements related to terminating employment of workers under an H-2A contract.

Resources related to water sanitation

Federal regulations require that farmworker housing be equipped with a “safe and adequate” water supply. For more information on maintaining a safe and adequate water supply, please see the resources below.

Questions? Contact:

Foreign Labor and Agriculture Labor Specialist: Caylin Gwise
Office phone: 585-258-8855
Mobile phone: 585-746-2409
E-Mail: [email protected]
Fax: 716-541-9615
Mailing address: 276 Waring Road Rochester NY 14609

Foreign Labor and Agriculture Specialist: Stacey Rice
Office phone: 585-258-8858
Mobile phone: 585-402-4344
E-Mail: [email protected]
Fax: 716-541-9615
Mailing address: 276 Waring Road Rochester NY 14609

Foreign Labor and Agriculture Labor Supervisor: Melissa Buckley
Office phone: 716-851-2609
Mobile phone: 716-803-0402
E-Mail: [email protected]
Fax: 716-541-9615
Mailing address: 290 Main Street, Room 213 Buffalo NY 14202

Outreach and Program Liaison: Silvia Ray
Office phone: 212-775-3358
Mobile phone: 917-708-1807
E-Mail: [email protected]
Fax: 716-541-9615

Division Director: Jeanette Lazelle
Office phone: 518-457-7304
Mobile phone: 518-461-2599
E-Mail: [email protected]

USDOL Contact Information

Find details at or contact the USDOL's CNPC at (312) 886-8000.

New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act resources for H-2A employers

In order to assist employers in achieving compliance with New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), a number of forms and other resources are provided for your use.

Pay Notice and Work Agreement for H-2A employers

Federal form ETA 790 when properly completed, partially satisfies the requirements of New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). The U.S. Department of Labor has developed an instruction document to assist with completing the ETA 790. While the ETA 790 is required for Foreign Labor Certification, it can also be used for participation in the Agricultural Recruitment System and is a useful tool for all agricultural employers in complying with the WTPA.

The New York State Department of Labor created Supplement to ETA 790, which, when properly completed and signed by both the employer and the worker, assists the agricultural employer in achieving compliance with the WTPA. You can read a more thorough description of this tool.

The Supplement to ETA 790 is also available in Spanish.

Wage statements for H-2A employers

New York State Department of Labor Form FL 446 is a blank wage statement containing the fields that employers of H-2A workers must provide to document each pay period to comply with the WTPA.

Other services for agricultural employers

Visit the Agriculture Labor Program's Services for Agricultural Employers page

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