In a joint effort with the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has disclosed the roster of nations whose citizens are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs for the upcoming year. The formal notice, set to be published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2023, unveils the addition of Bolivia to the list of eligible countries for both programs, effective immediately.
The decision-making authority to amend the list lies with the secretary of homeland security, in collaboration with the secretary of state. The eligibility criteria may be altered or countries removed based on determinations by DHS and DOS, addressing factors such as fraud, abuse, visa overstay rates, and noncompliance with H-2 visa program terms, all of which could be contrary to U.S. interests.
The H-2A and H-2B visa programs enable U.S. employers to recruit foreign nationals for temporary agricultural and nonagricultural positions, respectively. Typically, USCIS approves petitions for nationals only from countries designated as eligible by the secretary of homeland security. However, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis for pending petitions involving nationals from non-listed countries, if it is deemed in the interest of the United States.
As of November 9, citizens of the countries listed below are eligible to receive H-2A and H-2B visas:
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, Estonia.