Looking for Temporary Employees? Consider Looking to Honduras
The US Department of Labor and the Ministry of Labor (MOL) of Honduras have put together a program designed to benefit US employers in certain industries and Honduran employees. The agreement was signed in September 2019, and as of January 2020, the details continue to be fine-tuned in order to implement this program.
The program is aptly named “Temporary Work Program for the United States” and will allow employers engaged in agriculture, forestry, building maintenance, construction, housing, tourism, and hotels to utilize an expedited process to obtain temporary workers from Honduras through H-2A and H-2B visas. The MOL will provide (1) recruitment and preselection of employees who are deemed likely to satisfy US immigration laws; (2) travel documentation, good health, and criminal background checks; (3) orientation; and (4) assistance with visa compliance. The US Embassy in Honduras will provide expedited and group visa appointments for H visa applicants.
How does this program define “expedited”?
Once an employer registers a job offer, employees might be able to work within a few weeks. Employers are still subject to the usual H-2A and H-2B requirements. Regarding the H-2A visa, the employer must meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. With respect to H-2B (non-agricultural) visas, the employer must show that
there are not enough US workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work; and
employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.