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H-2A and H-2B Visas Open Up for 2012

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on January 26, 2012

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS) recently announced that citizens from 53 different countries will be eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs this year.

The H-2A program enables employers to hire foreign nationals for temporary agricultural jobs, and the H-2B program enables employers to hire foreign nationals for temporary non-agricultural jobs.

Effective Jan. 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.

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

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.

If you are an employer or an employer’s representative responsible for hiring, we would be happy to assist you with any immigration counseling and support. Feel free to call us at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment and/or check out our Website for more information on how we can assist you.