Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific has been granted a two-year exemption from a 30 percent U.S. citizen hiring requirement in its construction staff, Post Guam reports.
IPI has had difficulty hiring enough construction workers for its project, which it aims to complete by February 28, 2021.
Over the last two years, workers from the Philippines had been the main source of IPI’s construction staff.
However, just this year, the country was taken off the list of H-2B eligible nations by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Almost half of IPI’s 800-strong staff started leaving the island on Saturday due to the expiration of their H-2B visa.
IPI CEO Mark Brown said the company is now is trying to hire construction workers in South Korea and Taiwan, which are on the list of H-2B eligible nations.