GCA President estimates that Guam will need about 2,500 H2-B visas over the next ten years for construction for the military buildup.
Guam – The Guam Contractors Association is concerned that the recent stall in approval of H2-B Visas could stall construction for the Guam military buildup.
GCA President James Martinez says U.S. Customs and Immigration has given some contractors RFE’s or Requests For Evidence. Martinez says this letter is typically the step taken before a denial is issued. Guam is currently exempt from the cap on the H-2B Visa program to allow the island to bring in the workers needed for the military buildup. There are currently 1500 H2-B workers 80 percent of which are for the construction industry. Martinez says during the creation of the hotel industry on Guam there were 5,000 to 6,000 H2-B workers. Martinez says that they’ve never really encountered these types of problems with getting H2-B visas approved.
“How could this affect the military buildup if this continues? I think it will cause probably some delays I know that the contractors out here would probably utilize more or less the U.S. and local workforce on the base but anything outside the fence I think would be more impacted if we were denied H2-B visa workers for those projects,” said Martinez.
Martinez estimates that Guam will need about 2,500 H2-B visas over the next ten years for construction for the military buildup. He also points out that the H-2B visas also effects other industries like the healthcare and hotel industry.