When Immigration Matters

New Countries Eligible to Participate in 2011 H-2A and H-2B Programs

Posted by Karen Pollak on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, has identified 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for the coming year.

USCISThe H-2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs; the H-2B program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States for temporary nonagricultural jobs. USCIS, with limited exception, approves petitions only for nationals of countries designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs. A new list of eligible countries publishes in a Federal Register notice on January 18, 2011 , and the designations are valid for one year from the date of publication.

Effective Jan. 18, 2011, nationals from the following 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, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.  Of these countries, the following were designated for the first time this year:  Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

After considering a number of relevant factors under the governing regulations, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State have determined that Indonesia currently does not warrant a renewed designation as a participating country in the H-2A and H-2B programs for 2011.

This new list does not affect the status of individuals who currently hold valid H-2A or H-2B visas or status. A national from a country that is not on the list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A and H-2B petition if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines, in her sole and unreviewable discretion, that it is in the U.S. interest for the alien to be a beneficiary of the petition. 

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H-2A Job Orders To Be Posted In National Electronic Job Registry

Posted by Karen Pollak on Wed, Jul 07, 2010 @ 1:42 PM

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Program | DOLAnnouncing the New National Electronic Job Registry for Use in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Program. The National Electronic Job Registry (job registry) in which H-2A job orders will be posted and available to the public will be operational on July 8, 2010.

The regulations promulgated by the 2010 Final Rule include a requirement that all job orders filed in connection with H-2A applications be posted a national, publicly accessible electronic job registry available to U.S. workers. This will provide an unprecedented level of public access to one of the most frequently requested types of records maintained by the Department.

H-2A & H-2B Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot Delayed

Posted by Michael Pollak on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 @ 3:32 PM
Today August 25, 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the postponement of the commencement date of the H-2A and H-2B Temporary Worker Visa Exit Program Pilot, originally set for August 1, 2009. The pilot program will require temporary workers within H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant classifications that enter the United States at either the port of San Luis, Arizona or the port of Douglas, Arizona, to depart from one of those ports and to submit certain biographical and  biometric information at one of the kiosks established for this purpose. A delay of the commencement date is necessary to ensure that the kiosks are fully operational.  The pilot program will commence December 8, 2009.

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