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

[Federal Register: December 19, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 245)]
[Notices]               
[Page 77817-77818]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr19de08-150]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Customs and Border Protection

[CBP Dec. 08-49]

 
Notice of Expansion of Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot 
To Include H-2B Temporary Workers

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: General notice.

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

SUMMARY: This notice announces that U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
is expanding a pilot program that implements a land-border exit system 
for certain temporary workers at certain designated ports of entry. 
Under the expansion of this pilot program, temporary workers within the 
H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant classifications that enter the United States 
at the ports of San Luis, Arizona or Douglas, Arizona on or after 
August 1, 2009, 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 or H-2B 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.

DATES: The effective date of this notice is August 1, 2009.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    A pilot program for certain temporary workers was first proposed on 
February 13, 2008, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (73 FR 8230) to amend its 
regulations regarding the H-2A nonimmigrant classification.\1\

[[Page 77818]]

Specifically, DHS proposed to create 8 CFR 215.9 instituting a 
temporary worker visa exit pilot program and requiring certain H-2A 
temporary agricultural workers to participate in a pilot program that 
requires these workers to register with Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP) at the time of their departure from the United States. On 
December 18, 2008, a final rule was published in the Federal Register 
establishing the pilot program. Pursuant to the final rule, CBP 
published a notice, CBP Dec. 08-48, in the same Federal Register that 
requires H-2A temporary agricultural workers entering the U.S. at the 
ports of San Luis and Douglas, Arizona, on or after August 1, 2009, to 
register with CBP at the time of departure from the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On August 20, 2008, DHS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
in the Federal Register (73 FR 49109) proposing changes to requirements 
affecting temporary non-agricultural workers within the H-2B 
nonimmigrant classification and their U.S. employers.\2\ Among other 
things, DHS proposed to expand the temporary worker visa exit pilot 
program to include the H-2B nonimmigrant classification by requiring H-
2B temporary nonagricultural workers admitted at a port of entry 
participating in the program to register with CBP at the time of 
departure from the United States. DHS is publishing the final rule in 
today's edition of the Federal Register, concurrent with this Notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The H-2B nonimmigrant classification applies to foreign 
workers coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform temporary, non-
agricultural labor or services. Immigration and Nationality Act (Act 
or INA) sec. 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b); 
see 8 CFR 214.1(a)(2) (designation for H-2B classification).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The final rule amends 8 CFR 215.9 to provide that an alien admitted 
with a certain temporary worker 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. The amended Sec.  215.9 further 
states that CBP will publish a notice in the Federal Register 
designating which temporary 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 instant notice is being issued pursuant to amended Sec.  215.9. 
It contains all the required elements referenced in 8 CFR 215.9 as 
amended and expands the temporary worker visa exit pilot program to 
include both the H-2A and the H-2B classifications. The requirements of 
the pilot program, the designated ports, and the effective date of the 
pilot program will be the same for both H-2A and H-2B temporary 
workers. Therefore, any alien who is admitted into the United States 
with an H-2A or H-2B nonimmigrant visa at a designated port on or after 
August 1, 2009, will be subject to the expanded pilot program.

Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot

General Requirements

    Any alien admitted into the United States at a designated port of 
entry with either an H-2A or H-2B nonimmigrant visa 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.

Designated Ports of Entry

    San Luis, Arizona.
    Douglas, Arizona.

Entry Procedures

    Any nonimmigrant alien admitted with an H-2A or H-2B 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 to register his or her final departure from 
the United States at that port on or before the date that his or her 
work authorization expires.

Exit Procedures

    An alien admitted with an H-2A or H-2B 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:
     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.
     Biometric information--a 4-finger scan from one hand.
     The departure portion of the CBP Form I-94--this must be 
deposited into a lockbox attached to 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.

    Dated: December 8, 2008.
Jayson P. Ahern,
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
 [FR Doc. E8-30093 Filed 12-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P




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