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DOL/ETA RIN: 1205-AB89 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States (Adverse Effect Wage Rates and H-2A Remaining Provisions) 

The United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division are amending regulations regarding the H-2A non-immigrant visa program at 20 CFR part 655, subpart B. While DOL issued one comprehensive proposal, the final rulemaking is being split into two final rules: 1) a rule finalizing the Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR) provisions is economically significant; and 2) a rule finalizing the remainder of the proposal in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Labor Certification Process for Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States (H-2A workers), RIN 1205-AB89 is significant. These final rules will include necessary technical improvements to the existing H-2A regulations that will modernize and streamline the overall function of the program, and will include necessary legal changes and technical improvements to the overall administration of the program since the current H-2A regulation was published in 2010.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 20 CFR 655, subpart B    29 CFR 501     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1188   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

DOL has identified necessary areas of the regulation that should be modernized and streamlined so that the agency can more effectively carry out its mandate to protect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers while also allowing the program to operate efficiently. DOL has also identified legal issues with the current regulation that must be addressed. DOL finalized the AEWR provisions first to make sure a new methodology is effective before the end of the year.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

ETA is undertaking this rulemaking pursuant to its authority under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In addition, courts have issued decisions since the publication of the current regulation that have presented legal issues with the regulation that must be addressed.


Alternatives were provided and open to public comment in the NPRM.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The Department estimates that the final rules would result in total annualized net quantifiable cost saving of $3.24 million at a discount rate of 7 percent in 2019 dollars. Detailed tables identifying costs, cost savings, and transfer payments were addressed in the NPRM.


This action does not affect the public health, safety, or the environment.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  07/26/2019  84 FR 36168   
NPRM Comment Period End  09/24/2019 
Final Rule (AEWR Provision)  11/05/2020  85 FR 70445   
Final Rule (AEWR Provision) Effective  12/21/2020 
Final Rule (H-2A Remaining Provisions)  12/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Brian Pasternak
Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW, FP Building,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 513-7350