Work visa holders out of luck for unemployment compensation

It is safe to say that no thought was given when designing temporary work visa programs to a scenario of massive unemployment. The number of affected workers may be as high as one million.

Foreign workers in the U.S. who hold temporary work vises tied to a specific employer do not appear to be eligible for unemployment compensation. Most of these temporary workers are skilled workers (H-1B), perhaps 600,000 and farm workers (H-2A), about 250,000, from among about 20 types of temporary work visas.

the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) says that to receive compensation the laid off worker must be legally able to work for another employer. Their visas are tied to specific employers. Thus on the surface of it, they are not “available to work.” (Go here.)

The situation is fluid and varies by state. (Go here).

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