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Five Countries Added to H-2A and H-2B Visa Program

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, have added the Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal, and Sweden 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 68 eligible countries was published on December 16, 2014 in the Federal Register.

The H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary and seasonal agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively.  USCIS only approves H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries that 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 January 18, 2015, nationals of the following 68 countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, Serbia Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

This notice does not affect the status of beneficiaries who currently are in the United States in H-2A or H-2B visa status unless they apply to change or extend their status. Each country’s designation is valid for one year from January 18, 2015.