DHS temporarily bans overseas Filipinos from U.S. work visas

Filipino overseas workers will no longer be issued H-2A and H-2B temporary visas to work in the U.S. — at least for a year – according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Consul General Claro Cristobal says their reason: severe overstaying and human trafficking of Filipino migrant workers.

But to put this in perspective, the consul general says, there were only 3,232 OFWs given H-2-B visas to work in the US from the period 2015 to 2017 — about 1,000 a year.

New York immigration lawyer attorney Lara Gregory says the ban covers H-2-BA visa for foreign agricultural workers and H-2-B visas for non-agriculture workers.

Atty. Lara Gregory says there is one exemption to this rule.

“If the person is already on a previously issued h2b visa and they did not violate any of the immigration rules, then they can still be hired depending on the evidence//

In a statement, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said: they are open to the possibility of working with the United States in addressing these issues.

The Philippine H-2-B ban is effective from January 19, 2019 until January 18, 2020.

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