US immigration adds more countries to list of eligible applicants for H-2A and H-2B visas

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US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last week that there have been five more countries added to the list of eligible nationals who can participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs in 2012. This brings the lists total to 58 countries. The list of Countries will be reviewed again one year from the date of publication.

The H-2A and H-2B programs allow US employers to bring foreign workers to the US in order to fill temporary agricultural jobs and temporary non-agricultural jobs. USCIS generally may only approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries that are designated as eligible to participate in the programs. USCIS may also 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 US; this is taken on a case by case basis.

In addition to the 53 countries currently on the list, the following five countries were added for 2012: Haiti, Iceland, Montenegro, Spain and Switzerland.

Effective 18 January 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.

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