Chapter 09 - Guest Worker Permit

Chapter 09 - Guest Worker Permit

41.0901 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) “Affiant” means a person who attests to, or signs an affidavit.

(b) “Affidavit” means a written statement which is authorized or required by law, attested to or signed by the affiant, and submitted in support of an application for a guest worker permit.

(c) “Guest worker” means a person of Samoan ancestry born in the Independent State of Samoa who is granted authorization to enter and remain in American Samoa for purposes of employment at the fish canneries or call center only, under the provision of this chapter.

(d) “Host” means anyone who is a 21 year old bona fide individual resident or business of American Samoa who can certify by affidavit that he/she/they will provide housing and lodging facilities, whether free of charge or by rent agreement, for a guest worker during his/her stay in American Samoa.

(e) “Immediate relative” means the children, spouse, siblings and parents of a guest worker.

(f) “Sponsor” means an employer belonging to either of the two current fish canneries or call center doing business in American Samoa requesting a guest worker permit for an individual to enter American Samoa for purposes of employment by those canneries or call center.

41.0902 Authorization to issue guest worker permit.

The Attorney General of American Samoa is authorized to issue guest worker permits, subject to the requirements of this chapter, for the purpose of entry of persons of Samoan ancestry born in the Independent State of Samoa into American Samoa for purposes of employment by either of the two canneries or call center.

41.0903 Requirements for eligibility for guest worker permit. Each guest worker for whom a permit is requested must meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Must be at least 19 years old, and no older than 45 years, at the time the application is presented to the Attorney General;

(2) Must be a person of Samoan ancestry born in the Independent State of Samoa;

(3) Must not have been convicted anywhere of any crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, including civil infractions;

(4) Must possess a certificate from the highest health authority in his/her country of origin that bearer is of good health, fit for work, not pregnant, in cases of females, and free from any sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, filariasis, or any disease that is deemed contagious and capable of being transmitted from one person to another;

(5) Must not have been previously deported or excluded by the American Samoa Immigration Board or Attorney General;

(6) Must not have been ordered by the courts of American Samoa to remain outside the Territory of American Samoa for any amount of time; and

(7) Must comply with the prohibitions of section 41.0615.

41.0904 Health certification by guest worker—Penalty.

(a) In addition to the requirement of section 41.0903(4) above, guest worker must provide a signed affidavit, with himself/herself as the affiant, that he/she is of good health, fit for work, not pregnant, in cases of females, and is free from any sexually transmitted disease, malaria, filariasis, or any disease that is deemed contagious and capable of being transmitted from one person to another.

(b) Any guest worker who knowingly presents a false affidavit under this section in order to obtain a guest worker permit, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. The guest worker permit that was issued to said person shall immediately be revoked and he or she deported without delay. This individual shall not be eligible as a guest worker at any other time in the future.

41.0905 Permit good for one year—Renewal—Fees.

(a) Each guest worker permit issued by the Attorney General shall be valid for one year from the date it was issued, and shall entitle the guest worker to multiple entries into American Samoa for the purpose for which it was issued.

(b) Each permit may be renewed for an additional year not to exceed ten consecutive renewals.

(c) Each permit issued for the first time shall be for a fee of $50.00, paid to the Government of American Samoa by the guest worker or sponsor as provided under regulations promulgated hereunder. Each subsequent renewal shall be for $30.00.

41.0906 No bond or security of any kind necessary for issuance of permit.

For purposes of this chapter, neither the sponsor nor the guest worker applicant shall be required to post a bond, either monetary or otherwise, or post security of any kind as a requirement for the issuance of a guest worker permit. However, the sponsor is responsible for all expenses related to, and necessary for repatriating, to their countries of origin, those guest workers whose employment are terminated, or are deemed deportable or excluded by the Attorney General pursuant to the laws of American Samoa. The sponsor shall be responsible for assuring that provisions are in place to take care of expenses incurred by the guest worker for health or medical services, fees and fines, utilities, and any other expenses or debts of the guest worker.

41.0907 Requirement for a host in American Samoa—Penalty.

(a) Each application for a guest worker permit shall be supported by an affidavit from a host stating his/her ability and willingness to provide housing and lodging facilities for a guest worker during his/her stay in American Samoa, and shall declare whether he provides these accommodations free of charge or for a charge.

(b) A host who provides housing and lodging facilities for a charge shall submit with his/her affidavit a copy of his/her business license and rent agreement with the guest worker, stating, among other things, the term of the agreement, the monthly rental payment, the facilities provided, and other such information the Attorney General by regulation may require.

(c) No person may act as host for more than 5 guest workers at one time.

(d) A host or sponsor shall not require from a guest worker, through use of coercion, duress, force or threat of deportation, a portion of his/her wage earnings over and above the agreed upon rental rate, or reasonable household expenses attributed to the guest worker except as provided in this statute.

(e) Anyone who violates subsections (c) above shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the first violation, and a class D felony for every subsequent violation. Anyone who violates subsection (d) above shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(f) Anyone who provides a false affidavit or false information under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

41.0908 No round-trip ticket necessary to enter.

Each person who is granted a guest worker permit may enter American Samoa with only a one-way ticket from his point of origin.

41.0909 Issuance of guest worker permit.

Guest worker permits may be issued only upon the satisfaction of the following requirements:

(1) That the sponsor presents a completed application for each guest worker to the Attorney General with a certification that it is unable to meet its employment requirements with individuals currently residing in American Samoa, and other information that the Attorney General by regulation may require;

(2) That the Attorney General examines and certifies to the Governor that he/she has reviewed each application, that the requirements of this chapter have been satisfied, and that the employment needs of the sponsor cannot be met with individuals residing in American Samoa;

(3) That the Governor has consented to the issuance of each permit and has reported to the Legislature of American Samoa for its review:

(A) The number of permits to be issued;

(B) That he has approved the issuance of such permits; and

(C) The circumstances under which they are issued.

41.0910 Immediate employment—Termination of employment.

(a) Each guest worker who is issued a permit shall be employed by the sponsor within two weeks of arrival after first complying with the employment laws of American Samoa and those of the federal government which are applicable to American Samoa, and shall continue to be employed by sponsor while in American Samoa on a guest worker permit.

(b) The sponsor shall inform the Attorney General one day before it terminates employment of a guest worker, and must make sure that the guest worker departs American Samoa immediately upon termination of services. A guest worker who remains in American Samoa after termination of employment shall be subject to arrest and detention until arrangements are made by the sponsor for his immediate transportation back to the Independent State of Samoa.

41.0911 Authority of the Governor to implement moratorium.

The Governor of American Samoa is granted the authority to place a moratorium on the issuance of guest worker permits upon his/her determination that any of the following has occurred:

(a) There are sufficient willing individuals in American Samoa to fill the vacancies certified by sponsor;

(b) That the influx of guest workers has placed an unbearable strain on the resources, utilities, infrastructure or basic services of American Samoa;

(c) That the guest worker permits have been abused and misused, leading to undesired negative results; or

(d) That the further issuance of said permits will not be in the best interest of American Samoa.

41.0912 Guest worker’s family not included in permit—Eligibility for residence status.

(a) Each person who is granted permission to enter American Samoa on a guest worker permit is not entitled to inclusion of his/her immediate relatives for sponsorship under the guest worker permit.

(b) Guest workers shall not become eligible for residence status in American Samoa under chapter 03 of this Title.

(c) In the event that a guest worker applies and is granted an alternate residence status under the provisions of this Title, the years that he/she spent in American Samoa as a guest worker shall not be counted towards his/her application for permanent residence status pursuant to the provisions of section 41.0403 and as provided in the American Samoa Code Annotated.

41.0913 Amnesty for foreign nationals residing in American Samoa without


(a) In order to meet the guest worker permit requirements, and at the same time maintain the population at current levels, amnesty is hereby granted to nationals of the Independent State of Samoa of Samoan ancestry residing in American Samoa without proper authorization granted by the Attorney General or the Immigration Board, in order to become employed by sponsor as a guest worker, subject to employment requirements, provided however, that no individual shall be entitled to amnesty unless that individual is deemed qualified and is issued a guest worker permit.

(b) This grant of amnesty shall expire 90 days from the effective date of this law.

41.0914 No board approval necessary for guest worker permits.

Because it is the intent of this law to provide a more efficient and expeditious means of providing necessary workers for the two canneries and call center, guest worker permits do not require the approval of the Immigration Board.

41.0915 Registration forms.

The Attorney General is authorized and directed to utilize his/her authority under section 41.0306 to carry out and to implement the provisions of this chapter.

41.0916 Authority to adopt rules.

The Attorney General shall adopt administrative rules pursuant to 4.1001 et seq., to implement the provisions of this chapter.

41.0917 Certificate—Personal possession required.

(a) Every guest worker residing in American Samoa shall at all times carry with him/her and have in his/her personal possession any certificate of alien registration receipt card issued to him/her pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Any guest worker who fails to comply with this section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

41.0918 Change of address.

Every guest worker who enters American Samoa shall within 14 days following his arrival, notify the Attorney General and the sponsor in writing of his/her current address and any additional information as may by regulation be required by the Attorney General; and shall notify the Attorney General in writing whenever there is a change in his/her address, within 5 days of that change. Failure to comply with this section may subject the guest worker to immediate revocation of his/her permit.

41.0919 Sponsor penalty.

The sponsor of the guest worker shall be fined $100 per day for each infraction of the sponsor’s responsibilities as provided by this statute.

41.0920 Abrogation of relevant laws.

This law does not abrogate relevant provisions of other laws, except as specifically included herein.