H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers. Workers who come to the U.S. through these visa programs fill temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. To get agricultural workers H-2A non-immigrant visas, the sponsoring U.S. employers must offer those workers temporary or seasonal jobs in the U.S. The employers must demonstrate that there are not enough workers in the U.S. who are capable of doing or willing to do that temporary work. The sponsors must also prove that the wages or the working conditions of the U.S. workers employed in similar jobs will not be affected by the temporary foreign workers.
U.S. employers can bring temporary workers on H-2B visas to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs for which workers are not available in the U.S. The employment of temporary foreign workers must not affect the wages and the working conditions of the U.S. workers. They also need to establish that their need for foreign workers is temporary.
Four new countries are now eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs. The new countries that have now been designated eligible to participate in these non-immigrant visa programs are Austria, Italy, Panama, and Thailand. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), citizens of these countries can take part in the H-2A and H-2B non-immigrant visa programs, this year. With this addition, nationals of 63 foreign countries can take part in these two visa programs.
Only the applications filed by the citizens of foreign countries that are in the list of countries designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as eligible to take part in these visa programs, will be considered and approved by the USCIS. Effective 18 January 2014, citizens of the following 63 countries are eligible to take part in the H-2A and H-2B non-immigrant visa programs. However, this announcement will not affect those in the U.S. in H-2A or H-2B status, unless they file applications to change or extend their non-immigrant status.
Following are the countries that are eligible to take part in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs:
|Belize||Honduras||The Netherlands||South Korea|
|Costa Rica||Italy||Papua New Guinea||Turkey|
|Dominican Republic||Japan||The Philippines||Ukraine|