The newly designated countries are eligible for H-2A and H-2B Nonimmigrant Visa Programs 25 January, 2010. After consulting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Secretary of the US Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, last week determined that 11 new countries meet the standards required for participation in the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs.
The list of countries is reviewed and published each year.
The H-2A is a visa for seasonal agricultural workers released to foreign nationals only provided employers can prove there is a demonstrated shortage of US workers for the position; H-2B is a visa for one time, peak load, intermittent or seasonal jobs in a non-agriculture related field, released with the same proviso.
The 11 newly designated countries whose citizens will now be eligible to apply for the H-2A and H-2B visas—Croatia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Uruguay—join 28 countries previously held as eligible to participate in these programs.
The new combined list was published Monday in the Federal Register.
The current list of countries is thus as follows:
Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.
On a case-by-case basis, DHS may allow a worker from a country not on the participating country list to be eligible for the H-2A or H-2B program if such participation is in the interest of the United States.