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DHS Unveils Countries Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

USCIS Announces $10 Million Funding for Citizenship and Integration Programs: Application Period Opens

Magazine, Immigration

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Department of State (DOS), has unveiled the updated list of countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the coming year. The official notice will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 9, 2023.

As of Nov. 9, 2023, the secretary of homeland security, in agreement with the secretary of state, has made a significant decision:

Addition of Bolivia: Bolivia is now included in the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs.
DHS maintains the authority to modify the list of eligible countries at any time, as published in the Federal Register Notice. Factors such as fraud, abuse, visa overstay rates, and noncompliance with H-2 visa program terms and conditions could lead to the exclusion or removal of a country from the list, aligning with U.S. interests.

The H-2A and H-2B visa programs empower U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals for temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs. Generally, USCIS approves petitions only for countries designated as eligible. However, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis for nationals of countries not on the list, if it is determined to be in the best interest of the United States.

As of Nov. 9, nationals from the following countries are eligible for H-2A and H-2B visas. Stay tuned for exciting opportunities:

Andorra The Kingdom of Eswatini Madagascar Saint Lucia
Argentina Fiji Malta San Marino
Australia Finland Mauritius Serbia
Austria France Mexico Singapore
Barbados Germany Monaco Slovakia
Belgium Greece Mongolia* Slovenia
Bolivia Grenada Montenegro Solomon Islands
Bosnia and Herzegovina Guatemala Mozambique South Africa
Brazil Haiti Nauru South Korea
Brunei Honduras The Netherlands Spain
Bulgaria Hungary New Zealand St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Canada Iceland Nicaragua Sweden
Chile Ireland North Macedonia Switzerland
Colombia Israel Norway Taiwan***
Costa Rica Italy Panama Thailand
Croatia Jamaica Papua New Guinea Timor-Leste
Republic of Cyprus Japan Paraguay** Turkey
Czech Republic Kiribati Peru Tuvalu
Denmark Latvia The Philippines* Ukraine
Dominican Republic Liechtenstein Poland United Kingdom
Ecuador Lithuania Portugal Uruguay
El Salvador Luxembourg Romania Vanuatu


*Mongolia and the Philippines are now eligible participants in the H-2B program, but regrettably, they do not qualify for the H-2A program.

**On the other hand, Paraguay is now eligible for participation in the H-2A program, but unfortunately, it is not eligible for the H-2B program.

***It’s essential to note that references to “country” or “countries” in this document include Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. This aligns with the United States’ one-China policy, maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.

This notice has no impact on the status of current H-2 beneficiaries in the United States, unless they apply to extend their stay based on a petition filed after the Federal Register Notice’s publication date. Similarly, it doesn’t affect the eligibility of H-2 beneficiaries with approved petitions before the notice’s publication date. The changes apply to nonimmigrants changing status to H-2A or H-2B. Each country’s designation is valid from Nov. 9, 2023, to Nov. 8, 2024.

For further details on these programs, visit the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers and H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers pages on our website.

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