DHS Expands Eligibility for H2A and H2B Visas26 Jan 2010
Although H1B visas get most of the press, thousands of foreign workers come to the United States each year on two lesser-known programs, the H2A temporary agricultural worker visa and the H2B temporary worker program. Each year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) publishes a list of foreign countries whose nationals are eligible for H2A and H2B visas, and this year’s list includes 11 new countries. The eligibility list took effect January 18, 2010, and will be in force until a new list is issued in January, 2011.
DHS works with the State Department to determine which countries should be included on the list, taking into account the extent of that country’s cooperation with U.S. immigration enforcement and compliance efforts, and other factors in the U.S. national interest. The nations receiving eligibility for the first time include Croatia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, and Uruguay. These 11 countries join a list that includes Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.