USCIS Announces New Countries Eligible to Participate in H-2A and H-2B Programs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has identified 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for 2011.

Fifteen countries have been added to the list of participating nations for the first time this year; Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The remaining countries that are eligible to participate are: Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Phliippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uruguay. However, Indonesian nationals will no longer be eligible to apply for an H-2A or H-2B visa in 2011.

As background, the H-2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs; the H-2B program is designated for temporary non-agricultural jobs. With very limited exceptions, USCIS approves petitions only for nationals of countries designated by the Department of Homeland Security to participate in the H-2A or H-2B programs. The updated list does not affect the status of foreign nationals who currently hold valid H-2A or H-2B status or visas.

For a complete list of countries eligible for participation and more details, visit U.S. CIS.

Categories: Immigration Blog