6 countries added to H2-A, H2-B programs

8 Jan 15

UNITED STATES

The Department of Homeland Security recently added six countries – the Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal and Sweden – to the list of those whose nationals are eligible for H-2A and H-2B visas.

The H-2A and H-2B are nonimmigrant visa programs. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or agents to sponsor foreign nationals for temporary agriculture jobs. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or agents to do the same thing for non-agricultural jobs. Under both programs, employers or agents must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on the employee’s behalf.

The H-2A and H-2B programs are available to nationals of countries the Department of Homeland Security has selected. Nationals from countries not specifically listed can only participate in the program if the Secretary of Homeland Security finds it in the U.S.’s interests for the applicant to receive an H-2A or H-2B visa.

Effective Jan. 18, 2015, nationals of 68 countries will be eligible without the need for special approval. Those countries are:

Argentina Ecuador Jamaica Norway South Africa
Australia El Salvador Japan Panama South Korea
Austria Estonia Kiribati Papua New Guinea Spain
Barbados Ethiopia Latvia Peru Sweden
Belize Fiji Lithuania The Philippines Switzerland
Brazil Grenada Macedonia Poland Thailand
Bulgaria Guatemala Madagascar Portugal Tonga
Canada Haiti Mexico Romania Turkey
Chile Honduras Moldova Samoa Tuvalu
Costa Rica Hungary Montenegro Serbia Ukraine
Croatia Iceland Nauru Slovakia United Kingdom
Czech Republic Ireland The Netherlands Slovenia Uruguay
Denmark Israel Nicaragua Solomon Islands Vanuatu
Dominican Republic Italy New Zealand  

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