The Philippines has been added to the list of countries eligible to participate in the United States H-2B visa program, this year, while Mongolia will no longer have the right to be part this program, the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) has announced.

According to the USCIS’s statement, the Independent State of Samoa and Tonga will also be removed from the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) together with the Department of State (DOS) concluded that both of them and Mongolia no longer meet the regulatory standards for these programs, VisaGuide.World reports.

“Examples of factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include fraud, abuse, denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and other forms of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs by nationals of that country that are contrary to US interest,” USCIS’s statement reads.

The H-2A visa program permits internationals to work in the United States for the agricultural sectors, while the H-2B visa is also dedicated to international temporary workers, who do non-agricultural jobs.

Only citizens of the countries considered by the Homeland Security secretary as eligible to participate in the programs are permitted to file an application.

Yet, the USCIS has clarified that the agency may accept H-2A and H-2B petitions, “including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States based on submitted evidence.”

Based on the recent announcement of the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services, the following countries will be permitted to be part of the H-2A and H-2B visa programs;

Argentina, Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Barbados, Brunei, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Canada, Croatia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Fiji, France, Greece, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Hungary, Honduras, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Madagascar, Mexico, Monaco.

Citizens of the following countries will also be allowed to participate on the US’ H-2A and H-2B visa programs; Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Nauru, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Philippines,

In these programs can also be included citizens of Serbia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Korea, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

Moldova, the Dominican Republic and Paraguay can participate in the H-2A visa program but not in the H-2B program, while the Philippines and Mongolia can apply for the H-2B visa, but not for the H-2A visa program.

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