Hiring Foreign Workers

Under certain circumstances, employers may apply to bring foreign workers into the United States (U.S.) for permanent or temporary employment. Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. typically requires approval from several government entities. Certain aspects of these visa applications are coordinated by the Employment Development Department (EDD):

  • Foreign Labor Certification Program:
    Authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1986, this program is composed of several associated programs which include:

    H-2A for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers
    H-2B for temporary non-agricultural workers

    These programs permit employers, who anticipate a shortage of U.S. workers needed to perform labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature, to apply to U.S. for a temporary alien labor certification for temporary foreign workers. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification Web site.

    For inquiries, contact EDD staff:
    • H-2A: 916-654-9270 or 916-654-9315
    • H-2B: 916-654-7749 or 916-653-2813
  • Prevailing Wages for H-1B and Permanent Labor Certification:
    One aspect of obtaining non-immigrant temporary visas (H-1B) or permanent foreign labor certification requires that the wage the employer intends to pay the foreign workers meets the “prevailing wage” for that occupation in the geographical area in which the foreign worker will be employed. See the article, “Prevailing Wages for Hiring Foreign Workers” for forms and additional information.

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