Hiring Foreign Workers

Employers may, under certain circumstances, bring foreign workers into the United States (U.S.) for permanent or temporary employment. Approval from several government entities is required, however, certain aspects of the approval process are coordinated by the Employment Development Department (EDD).

Foreign Labor Certification Program

This program, authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1986, allows businesses who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to apply to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for temporary permits to hire foreign workers through two programs:

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

The EDD assists the DOL in administering these programs in California. For more information, visit:
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

Contact EDD

  • For H2A inquiries, call 916-654-9270 or 916‑654-9315.
  • For H2B inquiries, call 916-654-7749 or 916-653-2813.

For additional contact information, visit Contact EDD.

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