USCIS Announces Addition of 16 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H2A and H2B Visa Programs

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have added Andorra, Belgium, Brunei, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Singapore, Taiwan, and Timor-Leste to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B Visa programs for the coming year. The notice listing the eligible countries published on Nov. 18, 2015 in the Federal Register. In addition, Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson and Secretary of State Kerry have agreed that Moldova will no longer be designated as an eligible country to participate in the H2B program because Moldova is not meeting the standards in the regulation for the H2B program participation. Nationals of Moldova may still participate in the H2A program because Moldova continues to meet the standards in the regulation for H2A program participation.

The H2A and H2B Visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively. Typically, USCIS only approves H2A and H2B petitions for nationals of countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. USCIS, however, may approve H2A and H2B 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, 2016, nationals of the following countries are eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B Visa programs: Andorra, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, San Marino, Argentina, Fiji, Macedonia, Serbia, Australia, Finland, Madagascar, Singapore, Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia, Barbados, Germany, Moldova, Slovenia, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, Solomon Islands, Belize, Grenada, Monaco, South Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Montenegro, South Korea, Brunei, Haiti, Nauru, Spain, Bulgaria, Honduras, The Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Hungary, Nicaragua, Switzerland, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
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