An Act To Facilitate Entry of Immigrants into the Workforce
Sec. 1. 10 MRSA c. 110, sub-c. 13 is enacted to read:
FOREIGN CREDENTIALING AND SKILLS RECOGNITION REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM
§ 1100-AA. Foreign Credentialing and Skills Recognition Revolving Loan Program
(1) Costs of translating into English any diplomas, transcripts or other documents establishing courses studied or the completion of secondary school or of higher education at either the undergraduate or graduate level;
(2) Fees related to education evaluations establishing the equivalency level of education or experience attained abroad;
(3) Costs of translation into English of documents related to professional licenses or registrations obtained abroad;
(4) Costs of translation into English of letters of reference or recommendations related to education or experience obtained abroad;
(5) Fees related to test preparation courses or registration fees for a standard test of English as a foreign language or other standardized test recognized worldwide that measures English language proficiency, when necessary for an immigrant's work;
(6) Expenses for employment or professional applications, certifications, licensing fees and related requirements for seeking employment, including but not limited to fingerprinting and required tests;
(7) Fees related to obtaining a Maine driver's license, including but not limited to driver's education course fees, learner's permit application fees and driver's license fees; and
(8) Costs to travel to the nearest location of any exam or test needed to establish the applicant's skills or credentials or English language proficiency if there is no location within 60 miles of the Maine town in which the immigrant resides.
(1) Is not a United States citizen;
(2) Has filed applications or petitions with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or with the immigration courts of the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review or with any successor federal immigration authority entitling the person to request a work permit while the person's applications or petitions are pending; and
(3) Has received education, work experience or work training, or any combination, in a foreign country.
(1) In any case of demonstrable hardship, the authority may allow extensions of time for repayment or other flexibility in repayment terms; and
(2) Repayment of a loan may not be required until at least 60 days after the recipient of the loan has obtained a work permit, except that, if the recipient of the loan has obtained a work permit but has not obtained employment, repayment may not be required until at least 30 days after the recipient has obtained employment as long as the recipient is in compliance with the provisions of Title 22, section 4316-A.
Sec. 2. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
FINANCE AUTHORITY OF MAINE
Foreign Credentialing and Skills Recognition Revolving Loan Program Fund
Initiative: Provides ongoing appropriations to the Foreign Credentialing and Skills Recognition Revolving Loan Program.
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$75,000||$75,000|
This bill establishes and provides funding for the Foreign Credentialing and Skills Recognition Revolving Loan Program to be administered by the Finance Authority of Maine. Under the program, the authority may provide interest-free loans to foreign-educated or foreign-trained, experienced immigrants who need assistance while awaiting federal employment authorization to pay the costs of certain actions and activities that will improve their work-readiness once they receive their work permits.