12 Sep 2016

Visa change needed for Guam

2:20 pm on 12 September 2016

Guam's Labor Department says without a change to the U.S approach to temporary visas, the island could end up with a skeleton pool of skilled foreign construction workers by the end of the year.

The department's Greg Massey said the number of skilled workers on H-2B visas could drop to less than 100 by the end of the year, from the nearly 1,700 last October.

The US Naval base at Orote Peninsula, Guam

The US Naval base at Orote Peninsula, Guam Photo: Supplied

The Pacific Daily News reports foreign workers on H-2B visas have been part of the Guam construction industry for decades.

Guam used to bring in Chinese workers, but the federal government no longer allows workers from China on H-2B visas.

Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo said last week the planned Marine Corps base construction in Guam could be adversely affected.

Ms Bordallo said she is especially concerned by news one company is sending that nearly 400 workers are back to their country because of visa denials.

She has sent a letter asking US Immigration officials to allow H-2B visa workers to continue working until the defense spending bill is passed containing a longer term solution .