20 August 2008

The US proposes changes to the non-agricultural temporary worker program

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In a statement released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) last week, the Government detailed proposed changes to the H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker program.

The H-2B temporary worker program allows foreign nationals to temporarily work for US employers in non-agricultural jobs that otherwise cannot be filled by American workers.

The proposed changes will mean more foreign nationals can work in the non-agricultural industry for US employers and remove current limitations imposed on H-2B employers.  They will also ensure the rights of workers on American temporary work visas will be prevented from fraudulent employers and abusive working conditions. 

Some changes include a reduction in the waiting time outside US borders for an H-2B visa approval, tracking down and penalising employers who enforce fees on H-2B employees to commence employment, requiring employers to notify Home Security when employees abscond or renege on their visa conditions, and changing the period of which H-2B visa holders must enter America after having their temporary visa approved.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in American visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, American Visa Bureau.

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