February 6, 2020
The United States and El Salvador sign MOU on temporary workers program
Ambassador of the United States, Ronald Johnson, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexandra Hill Tinoco, signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the participation of Salvadoran workforce in the program of temporary workers in the United States. This is an opportunity for people with verifiable experience in the agricultural sector to access temporary jobs in the United States, through the H-2A and H-2B visas.
By signing this agreement, the Ministry of Labor commits to create mechanisms that encourage systematic, orderly and safe recruitment, which promotes the responsibility and transparency of the process, in accordance with U.S. and El Salvador’s regulations. For its part, the United States Embassy will work to issue H2-A and H2-B visas for those who meet the requirements to work for U.S. companies. Both institutions will improve awareness of the requirements and obligations in relation to the H-2A and H-2B visa program through constant extension and information tasks.
During his speech, Ambassador Johnson recognized the benefits that this program will bring to the Salvadoran population. “We know that the majority of people who make the dangerous and illegal trip to the United States are mainly looking for better economic conditions. This program offers a legal, safe and transparent alternative so that people do not risk their lives or their families. At the same time, as we have seen in hundreds of cases, when people do well and return year after year, they manage to build a better future for themselves and their loved ones. That way they build more prosperity for themselves and for El Salvador,”
The cooperative work between the United States Embassy and the Ministry of Labor began to bear fruit since the end of 2019. A group of 50 farm workers received the H-2A visa and traveled to the United States to work on a flower farm in Mississippi. Before the existence of this program, the Embassy issued more than 200 H-2A and 586 H-2B visas in 2019. By 2020, thanks to joint cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, the Embassy expects to issue 1000 H-2A and H-2B visas, with systematic increases every year, to contribute to economic development and promote mechanisms for legal and safe migration to the United States.