Definition of guest worker in US English:

guest worker


  • A person with temporary permission to work in another country.

    • ‘In 2000, he spent a rather eventful four months as a guest worker at the National Research Council in Ottawa, while keeping an eye on the Crustacean.’
    • ‘Every guest worker should be interviewed prior to departure under a guarantee of complete anonymity.’
    • ‘Another neglected mode of migration is the guest worker.’
    • ‘Only after three years work could a guest worker even apply for citizenship, and this could only be granted after five years.’
    • ‘Four decades ago a guest worker, or Gastarbeiter in German, meant a Turk or a Yugoslav who came to labour-short Germany in search of the sort of job locals did not usually want to do.’
    • ‘Because if not, any ‘respect’ afforded to the guest worker is going to be very much at the employer's discretion, I'd say.’
    • ‘The challenge for the labour movement will be to respond to guest workers in a manner which focuses on the real issue - the creation of a second class of worker that is neither good for the guest worker nor for the host.’


1960s: translation of German Gastarbeiter.


guest worker

/ɡest ˈwərkər//ɡɛst ˈwərkər/