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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: December 18, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 244)]
[Notices]               
[Page 77049-77050]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18de08-78]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

[CBP Dec. 08-48]

 
Notice of H-2A Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: General notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice announces that U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP) is establishing a new land-border exit system for certain 
temporary agricultural workers, starting on a pilot basis, at certain 
designated ports of entry. Under this pilot program, aliens admitted to 
the United States as H-2A temporary workers who were admitted to the 
United States at the ports of San Luis, Arizona, or Douglas, Arizona, 
must depart from either one of those ports and provide certain 
biographic and biometric information at one of the kiosks established 
for this purpose. Any nonimmigrant alien admitted under an H-2A 
nonimmigrant visa at one of the designated ports of entry will be 
issued a CBP Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, and be presented 
with

[[Page 77050]]

information material that explains the pilot program requirements.

DATES: The pilot program will commence August 1, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Erin M. Martin via e-mail at 
ERIN.Martin@dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On February 13, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register (73 
FR 8230) proposing changes to requirements affecting temporary and 
seasonal agricultural workers within the H-2A nonimmigrant 
classification and their U.S. employers.\1\ Among other things, DHS 
proposed to establish a visa exit program on a pilot basis that would 
require temporary agricultural workers within the H-2A nonimmigrant 
classification to register with CBP at the time of departure from the 
United States. DHS is publishing the final rule implementing the H-2A 
program in today's edition of the Federal Register, concurrent with 
this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The H-2A nonimmigrant classification applies to aliens 
seeking to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or 
seasonal nature in the United States. Immigration and Nationality 
Act (Act or INA) sec. 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), 8 U.S.C. 
1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a); see 8 CFR 214.1(a)(2) (designation for H-2A 
classification).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Specifically, the final rule implements the pilot program by adding 
8 CFR 215.9, which provides that an alien admitted on an H-2A visa at a 
port of entry participating in the Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program 
must also depart at the end of his or her authorized period of stay 
through a port of entry participating in the program and present 
designated biographic and/or biometric information upon departure. 
Section 215.9 further states that CBP will publish a notice in the 
Federal Register designating which H-2A workers must participate in the 
Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program, which ports of entry are 
participating in the program, which biographical and/or biometric 
information would be required, and the format for submission of that 
information by the departing designated temporary workers.
    The final rule indicates that the Temporary Worker Visa Exit 
Program will begin as a pilot. Accordingly, CBP is implementing the 
Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program, on a pilot basis. This notice 
contains all the required elements referenced in 8 CFR 215.9. Any alien 
subject to the program that is admitted into the United States at a 
designated port on or after August 1, 2009, is subject to the pilot 
program.

General Requirements of the Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot

    Any alien subject to the Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program must 
depart from a designated port of entry and must submit certain 
biographic and biometric information at one of the kiosks established 
for this purpose.

Aliens Subject to the Pilot Program

    Any alien admitted into the United States under an H-2A 
nonimmigrant visa at one of the designated ports.

Designated Ports

    San Luis, Arizona; Douglas, Arizona.

Entry Procedures

    Any nonimmigrant alien admitted under an H-2A nonimmigrant visa at 
one of the designated ports of entry will be issued a CBP Form I-94, 
Arrival and Departure Record, and be presented with information 
material that explains the pilot program requirements. The information 
material will instruct the alien to appear in person at one of the 
designated ports of entry and register his or her final departure from 
the United States at that port on or before the date his or her work 
authorization expires.

Exit Procedures

    An alien admitted under an H-2A nonimmigrant visa must depart at a 
designated port on or before the date his or her work authorization 
expires. At the time of departure, the alien must present the following 
biographic and biometric information at a kiosk installed for this 
purpose:
     1--Biographic information--name, date of birth, country of 
citizenship, passport number, and the name of the Consulate where the 
alien's visa was issued. The biographic information will be provided by 
scanning the alien's travel document (visa). If the scan of the visa 
fails, the alien will scan his or her passport. If the scan of the 
passport fails the alien will manually enter the required biographic 
information.
     2--Biometric information--a 4-finger scan from one hand.
     3--The departure portion of the CBP Form I-94--this must 
be deposited into the kiosk and the departing alien will receive a 
receipt verifying a successfully completed checkout registration.

Kiosks

    Instructions for departure registration will be available in both 
English and Spanish for use by departing aliens at the kiosks.
    Officer assistance will be available in the event that an alien is 
unable to utilize the designated kiosk to record his or her departure.

Jayson P. Ahern,
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
 [FR Doc. E8-29787 Filed 12-17-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P



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