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IPI: Pending H-2B visa applications may delay construction

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IMPERIAL Pacific International vice president for construction Eric Poon told the Commonwealth Casino Commission on Thursday that IPI’s H-2B visa applications remain pending, and may delay the construction of the hotel tower.

Poon reported that the resort hotel’s beachfront villas and the construction of the North Wing Building have been completed, and only the furniture installation and building inspection are still in progress.

He said IPI has submitted “hundreds” of H-2B visa applications in 2019, and is still waiting for their approval, “which is beyond our control.”

“This issue could cause potential delay of the ongoing hotel tower construction phase and other venues,” Poon told the casino commissioners adding that the current workforce of IPI will not meet the targeted deadlines.

Still in progress is the construction of the hotel tower, he said. This includes “cladding and waterproofing installations, guestroom interior wall partition installation, and public hotel corridor mechanical, electrical, and plumbing material installations,” Poon added.

He said IPI has a total of 572 workers at the construction site — 124 from Taiwan, four from Thailand, 145 from Mongolia, 31 from Australia, 103 from Turkey and 165 locals.

Poon said they need about 1,000 construction workers to meet the completion deadline.

“This is our only concern, and I hope this can be addressed soon,” he added.

The deadline to complete the project is Feb. 28, 2021.

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