According to the federal register’s notice, beginning January 19, 2019 until January 18, 2020, the Philippines is no longer eligible to receive H-2A temporary visas for agricultural workers, as well as H-2B non-agricultural work visas, such as hotel, restaurant and resort workers.
Holders of these H-2 visas are expected to return to their homeland after their visas expired.
Those were the exact reasons cited by DHS and DOS for the ban.
40% of OFW’s issued H-2 visas do not return home to the Philippines, and 40% of the quota for T-1 trafficking visas were issued to Filipino trafficking victims in recent years.
But members of the activist groups Migrante USA and GABRIELA USA are calling on the Philippine and US governments to address the root cause of trafficking and overstaying of H2 workers instead of blaming Filipino migrant workers.
Despite being removed from the approved list of H2 beneficiaries – Filipino migrant workers may still be issued H-S visas on a case-by-case basis if the USCIS determines, the issuance is in the interest of the United States.
Especially for those who were previously granted and admitted to the US in H-2B status and who complied with the program.