Good Ventures awarded a grant of $1,310,482 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.
The grant amount has been updated to reflect $180,022 in unspent funds returned to us in 2016.
- GiveWell Writeup on the U.S. Association for International Migration Grant
- USAIM Project Proposal
- USAIM Grant Budget
- GiveWell Shallow Investigation of Labor Mobility
- Good Ventures Blog: Potential U.S. Policy Focus Areas
- GiveWell December 2014 update on the U.S. Association for International Migration Grant
- (Update) GiveWell Summary of a Conversation with IOM, Protect the People, and the Center for Global Development (June 2015)
- (Update) Open Philanthropy Project Grant Update (December 2015)