Haiti eligible to guest-worker visa programs in the United States

Haiti eligible to guest-worker visa programs in the United States

Haitians are once more eligible for temporary, seasonal work in the United States under two federal guest-worker programs, three years after being kicked out by the Trump administration. 

The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it was reinstating Haiti in the H-2A and H-2B guest worker visa programs for the coming year, which allows farmers, hotel workers and other laborers to apply for temporary work in the U.S. Haiti is among six new countries whose nationals are now eligible.

The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. H-2B visas are for non-agricultural jobs.

The administration’s reinstatement of Haiti will offer relief to some Haitians at a time when the U.S. continues to come under fire for its immigration policy toward Haitians and its Haiti foreign policy.

In 2018, the Trump administration announced that Haiti was being kicked out of the guest worker program due to “extremely high rates of refusal… high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying the terms of their H-2 admission.”

In welcoming the reinstatement of the guest worker program, Haitians and immigration advocates say they are still awaiting an announcement by the administration of the return of the Haitian Family Reunification program, especially as the country seems to be headed towards a social explosion.

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