USAIM — Seasonal Migration from Haiti

U.S. Association for International Migration
Award Date:
To support a pilot project to facilitate Haitian access to legal seasonal work in the U.S.

Good Ventures awarded a grant of $1,490,505 over 14 months to the U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM) to support a pilot project to facilitate Haitian access to legal seasonal work in the U.S. Good Ventures made this grant with GiveWell's input as part of our exploration of international labor mobility as a potential focus area.

Temporary seasonal workers in the U.S. earn far more than unskilled workers in Haiti, so facilitating Haitians' access to U.S. labor markets could substantially increase their incomes. After being removed from eligibility for H-2 (lower-skill, seasonal work) visas in 2009 due to widespread abuse, Haiti was reinstated in 2012. However, few legitimate U.S. employers have recruited Haitians to use H-2 visas since then. The project aims to recruit employers for a pilot with 100 Haitian workers, to facilitate the workers' access to H-2 visas, and to ensure compliance with H-2 visa terms so the visa access will be sustainable. The project also includes the first rigorous evaluation of a U.S. labor facilitation program.

Our understanding is that employers for the 100 Haitian workers are likely to be found and the workers are likely to be able to receive H-2 visas, but we have less confidence that the program will be sustainable beyond the pilot stage or that compliance with visa terms will be high enough to ensure Haiti's continued access. That said, we see the possibility that the program results in many Haitians being able to take advantage of H-2 visas in the coming years, in addition to the benefits of the evaluation, as sufficient to justify the grant.

Read more: