Citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Mauritius, Haiti, and Saint Lucia will have the right to participate in the United States’ H-2A and H-2B visa programs starting from next year, as the US authorities have added these five territories to the list of countries whose citizens are permitted to hold such visas, provided they meet specific requirements.
In addition, citizens from the Dominican Republic will also be eligible to take advantage of the H-2B visa program, starting from next year, following the recent decision of the Department of Homeland Security together with the Department of States, VisaGuide.World reports.
At the same time, citizens of Moldova no longer have the right to be part of both programs after this county has been removed from the list as it no longer meets the regulatory standards. Still, Moldova’s eligibility to remain in such a program is effective until January 18, 2022.
Currently, a total of 85 countries are allowed to participate in the H-2A program, while nationals from 85 countries are permitted to be part of the H-2B program during the following year.
According to the announcement published by the Department of Homeland Security, the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to participate in both programs will be published on November 10.
“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to working with our interagency partners to ensure that companies in the US can fill temporary or seasonal jobs for which US workers are not available. Adding these six new countries will permit their nationals to apply for temporary work in the United States,” Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas pointed out in this regard.
DHS has clarified that the eligibility determinations will be made following all relevant factors and evidence presented in the case.
“USCIS may, in its discretion, approve H-2A and H-2B petitions (including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice), for nationals of territories not on the list of approved countries on a case-by-case basis if doing so would be in the interest of the United States, following DHS regulations,” the statement reads.
Last year, authorities in the United States added the Philippines to the list of countries allowed to be part of the H-2B visa program, while they removed Mongolia from the program. Such a decision was confirmed by the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS).
Through the H-2A visa program, internationals are eligible to work in the United States for agricultural sectors, while the H-2B visa is designed for international workers interested in doing non-agricultural jobs in the US.