Summary: S.1578 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1578. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (07/19/2017)

Paperwork Reduction for Farmers Act

This bill directs the Department of Labor to establish a process for filing petitions for nonimmigrant temporary agricultural workers (H-2A visa) that ensures that: (1) petitions may be filed through Labor's website or in a paper format, and (2) any technical deficiency in the petition will be indicated to the petitioner before submission.

An employer that has received a request for evidence from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) may request that such evidence request be delivered in an online format. CIS, within 10 days of the employer's submission of evidence, shall: (1) provide an online response indicating whether the evidence is sufficient; and (2) if the evidence is insufficient, provide the employer with an opportunity to address the deficiencies.

The Immigration and Nationality Act is amended to include year-round equine or livestock workers (including dairy or poultry workers) within the H-2A visa category. The requirement that apple pressing be performed on a farm in order to qualify for H-2A status is eliminated.

The bill permits multiple employers to submit a joint petition to import nonimmigrant H-2A visa temporary agricultural workers. Upon approval of such petition, each joint employer shall be subject to the Act's H-2A provisions with respect to each alien listed in the petition.

An employer seeking to rehire H-2A workers who previously worked for the employer as H-2A workers at any time may submit a simplified petition, to be developed by CIS, which shall include a certification that the employer complies with all applicable employment requirements. Such petitions shall be approved upon completion of applicable security screenings.

An employer seeking to hire H-2A workers during different time periods in a given fiscal year may submit a single petition to CIS detailing each alien's employment period.