• USCIS Updates Its List of 68 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs
  • March 23, 2015
  • Law Firm: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP - Tampa Office
  • On December 16, 2014, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in consultation with Department of State, added five new countries to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year beginning January 18, 2015. The five countries added are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal and Sweden, bringing the total of eligible countries to 68.

    The H-2A and H-2B Visa programs allow employers to bring foreign nationals from designated countries to the U.S. to work in Agricultural (H-2A) and Non-Agricultural (H-2B) jobs. If the Secretary of State determines it is in the best interest of the United States to approve an H-2A or H-2B petition for a foreign national from a country that is not designated, then USCIS may approve the petition.

    Beneficiaries currently in the U.S. in H-2A or H-2B status are not affected by this notice unless they apply to change or extend their status. Country designations are valid for one year, from January 18, 2015.

    Effective January 18, 2015, the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs:

    Argentina

    Fiji

    Moldova

    Slovenia

    Australia

    Grenada

    Montenegro

    Solomon Islands

    Austria

    Guatemala

    Nauru

    South Africa

    Barbados

    Haiti

    The Netherlands

    South Korea

    Belize

    Honduras

    Nicaragua

    Spain

    Brazil

    Hungary

    New Zealand

    Sweden

    Bulgaria

    Iceland

    Norway

    Switzerland

    Canada

    Ireland

    Panama

    Thailand

    Chile

    Israel

    Papua New Guinea

    Tonga

    Costa Rica

    Italy

    Peru

    Turkey

    Croatia

    Jamaica

    The Philippines

    Tuvalu

    Czech Republic

    Japan

    Poland

    Ukraine

    Denmark

    Kiribati

    Portugal

    United Kingdom

    Dominican Republic

    Latvia

    Romania

    Uruguay

    Ecuador

    Lithuania

    Samoa

    Vanuatu

    El Salvador

    Macedonia

    Serbia

    Estonia

    Madagascar

    Slovakia

    Ethiopia

    Mexico