DHS designates foreign countries eligible for H-2A and H-2B visa programs
DHS has published its annual list of countries whose nationals may petition to enter the U.S. under H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant status, in effect becoming legal guest workers.
Under DHS regulations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may only approve petitions for H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant status for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, has designated.
To designate a country, DHS and DoS consider, among other factors, the following: “(1) The country's cooperation with respect to issuance of travel documents for citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country who are subject to a final order of removal; (2) the number of final and unexecuted orders of removal against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country; (3) the number of orders of removal executed against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country.”
This year’s list, announced on January 19, identifies 39 countries. That’s up from 28 countries in 2008.
New on this year’s list are Croatia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Uruguay.
The full list includes Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.