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USCIS Announces 58 Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Participation

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, has identified 58 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A (temporary agricultural) and H-2B (temporary nonagricultural) programs for the coming year. Each country’s designation is valid for one year from the date of publication.

USCIS generally may only approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries not on the list if it is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

In addition to the 53 countries currently on the list, Haiti, Iceland, Montenegro, Spain, and Switzerland were designated for the first time this year.

Effective January 18, 2012, nationals of the following 58 countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

This new list does not immediately affect the status of beneficiaries who are currently in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status, unless they apply to change or extend their status.

The notice is available at here.

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