CBP Launches H-2 Temporary Worker Exit Program in Arizona
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a pilot program on December 8, 2009, for exiting H-2A and B temporary workers. The program will be tested at San Luis and Douglas land ports of entry in Arizona and the pilot phase is expected to last about a year. H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (nonagricultural) visas are issued to temporary seasonal workers.
CBP’s goal is to ensure that temporary workers comply with the requirement to leave the U.S. when their work authorization expires. To verify their final departure, H-2A and B workers will be required to scan their visas and their fingerprints and return their I-94 Arrival-Departure Record at an exit kiosk located at the port of departure. The kiosk will provide instructions in English and Spanish. Under the pilot program, travelers admitted under the H-2A and B classifications at San Luis or Douglas ports of entry must depart through one of the two designated ports.
CBP noted that frequent border crossers or commuters do not need to register every departure, but only their final departure from the U.S. Only H-2A and B temporary workers who enter the U.S. on a new work authorization will be required to register their final departure from the U.S. when their authorized period of stay expires.
More than 205,000 H-2 temporary workers entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2009, CBP said. Of those, more than 147,000 were H-2A workers and more than 58,000 were H-2B workers.