16 Mar 2017

Denial of temporary worker visas in Guam 'devastating'

7:19 am on 16 March 2017

Guam's Labour Department says the ongoing denial of temporary worker visas is having a devastating impact on the construction industry.

It said approvals for H2B worker visas this year have remained at about four-point-eight percent - a similar rate to last year.

That compares to a 95 percent approval rate in previous years.

Labour Department administrator Greg Massey said that means there are not the workers to do the cyclical jobs that do not appeal to locals.

"Trying to work construction on top of a big concrete building in the Guam heat, it's a really hard job."

"The locals go more for you know your electricians, and your AC mechanics. But the really difficult heavy work type of jobs there's not a lot of demand for. So that's where it's really affected the construction industry," he said.

Greg Massey said the US Immigration Service had given no explanation for the denial of visas, other than saying employers have not been able to prove the jobs are temporary.