5 New Countries Added to H2A and H2B Visa Programs
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in consultation with the Department of State have published a list of 58 countries whose citizens are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for 2012.
Haiti, Iceland, Montenegro, Spain and Switzerland have been added to the exisiting list of 53 eligible countries for the visa programs for the first time this year.
The H-2A visa program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign workers to the U.S to fill temporary agricultural jobs while the H-2B visa program enables U.S. employers to offer employment to foreign nationals for temporary non-agricultural positions.
USCIS will only approve visa petitions for nationals of countries designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as eligible to participate in the two visa programs.
The status of temporary workers already living in the U.S under the H-2A or H-2B visa programs will not affected by this new list, unless they apply to change or extend their status.
The full list of 58 countries is now available and each country's designation is valid for one year from 18 January 2012.