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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

  1. there are not enough US workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work; and

  2. employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.

© 2020 Jones Walker LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 44


About this Author

Luis Enrique Cuervo Energy Litigation Attorney

Luis Enrique Cuervo is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group, where he focuses primarily in the areas of oil and gas, energy, and natural resources.

Luis advises US and Europe-based clients on their complex international transactional and litigation needs, including white collar crime, assistance before foreign courts, and in international commercial and investment arbitrations.

Luis counsels investors and multinational companies engaged in international business, including in Latin America, among other oil and gas, mining, admiralty, insurance, and...

Laurie M. Riley, Jones Walker, civil rights attorney, employment related litigation lawyer

Laurie Riley defends employers in civil rights and other employment-related litigation, including litigation under federal laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and their state law counterparts. She has also represented employers in class action cases involving allegations of institutional discrimination in terms of promotion, discipline, compensation, and termination. Ms. Riley also represents employers involved in administrative proceedings before the EEOC and state agencies.