USCIS Announces 63 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, has added Austria, Italy, Panama, and Thailand to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year. The notice listing the 63 eligible countries published January 17, 2014 in the Federal Register.

The H-2A and H-2B Visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively. Generally, USCIS only approves H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries the secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries not on the list if it is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

Effective Jan. 18, 2014, nationals of the following 63 countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs:

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Barbados
Belize
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Grenada
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kiribati
Latvia
Lithuania
Macedonia
Mexico
Moldova
Montenegro
Nauru
The Netherlands
Nicaragua
New Zealand
Norway
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Poland
The Philippines
Romania
Samoa
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Tonga
Turkey
Tuvalu
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu

This notice does not affect the status of beneficiaries who currently are in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status. Each country’s designation is valid for one year from January 18, 2014.

Original source: www.uscis.gov