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USCIS Updates Its List of 68 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

Mechelle Zarou

Mechelle Zarou

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

For more information, please contact Mechelle Zarou at mzarou@slk-law.com.

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