DHS Announces Countries That Qualify for H-2A and H-2B Visas

On November 9, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—together with the Department of State (DOS)—has announced the lists of countries whose nationals now qualify for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the next year. The following day, the notice listing the eligible countries was published in the Federal Register. 

Eligible Countries for the H-2A and H-2B Visa Program 

The following countries have been added and are now eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs: 

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 

  • Cyprus 

  • Dominican Republic (currently only qualifies for the H-2A program) 

  • Haiti 

  • Mauritius 

  • Saint Lucia 

However, Moldova is no longer an eligible country for the H-2A visa program because it does not meet the program’s standards any longer. But Moldova nationals still qualify for the H-2A program until January 18, 2022. 

This announcement does not impact the status of H-2 beneficiaries who are currently in the United States unless they wish to extend their stay under the H-2 status prior to, on, or after the publication of the Federal Register notice. Yet, the notice does apply to individuals who wish to change their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. to H-2A or H-2B status. 

Nationals from the following countries are eligible to obtain H-2A and H-2B visas, as of November 10, 2021: 

  • Andorra 

  • Argentina 

  • Australia 

  • Austria Germany 

  • Barbados 

  • Belgium 

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Just added) 

  • Brazil 

  • Brunei 

  • Bulgaria 

  • Canada 

  • Chile 

  • Colombia 

  • Costa Rica 

  • Croatia 

  • Cyprus (Just added) 

  • Czech Republic 

  • Denmark 

  • Dominican Republic (Just added) 

  • Ecuador 

  • El Salvador 

  • Estonia Madagascar 

  • Fiji 

  • Finland 

  • France 

  • Germany 

  • Greece 

  • Grenada 

  • Guatemala 

  • Haiti (Just added) 

  • Honduras 

  • Hungary 

  • Iceland 

  • Ireland 

  • Israel 

  • Italy 

  • Jamaica 

  • Japan 

  • Kiribati 

  • Latvia 

  • Liechtenstein 

  • Lithuania 

  • Luxembourg 

  • Madagascar 

  • Malta 

  • Mauritius (Just added) 

  • Mexico 

  • Moldova (Only eligible for the H-2A program) 

  • Monaco 

  • Mongolia (Only eligible for the H-2B program) 

  • Montenegro 

  • Mozambique 

  • Nauru 

  • The Netherlands 

  • New Zealand 

  • Nicaragua 

  • North Macedonia 

  • Norway 

  • Panama 

  • Papua New Guinea 

  • Paraguay (Only eligible for the H-2A program) 

  • Peru 

  • Philippines (Only eligible for the H-2B program) 

  • Poland 

  • Portugal 

  • Romania 

  • Saint Lucia (Just added)  

  • San Marino 

  • Serbia 

  • Singapore 

  • Slovakia 

  • Slovenia 

  • Soloman Islands 

  • South Africa 

  • South Korea 

  • Spain 

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

  • Sweden 

  • Switzerland 

  • Taiwan 

  • Thailand 

  • Timor-Leste 

  • Turkey 

  • Tuvalu 

  • Ukraine 

  • United Kingdom 

  • Uruguay 

  • Vanuatu 

What are H-2A & H-2B Visas? 

The H-2A visa is for temporary agricultural workers, while the H-2B visa is for temporary nonagricultural workers, allowing U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States for seasonal or temporary jobs that do not require much formal education. While the H-2A visa does not have a cap, the H-2B visa has an annual cap of 66,000. 

Homeland Security has the authority to add countries to the qualifying list at any time. On the other hand, if a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation, the agency can decide not to redesignate any country at the end of the one-year period after the date of publication of the country’s most recent designation in the Federal Register. 

Common factors that could lead to being removed from the eligible countries list include: 

  • Abuse 

  • Fraud 

  • Overstay rates 

  • Denial rates 

  • Human trafficking issues 

  • Other forms of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs 

If you are interested in obtaining a work visa in Phoenix, AZ, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a case evaluation. 

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