DHS Releases Countries Eligible for H-2B Visa Programs

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), released the list of countries whose nationals are eligible for H-2B visas for the year, effective 19 January.

On 12 January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), released the list of countries whose nationals are eligible for H-2B visas for the year effective 19 January.

DHS weighs several factors when deciding which countries to include or not include for eligibility H-2B visas. Such factors include “the country’s cooperation in receiving its citizens who are subject to final order of removal from the U.S., and the number of orders of removal executed against nationals of that country.” Removing a country from a list, however, can include such factors as fraud, abuse, visa denial rates, noncompliance with terms and conditions of the H-2B programs, and evidence of economic impact on U.S. industries.

Notably, the Independent State of Samoa and Tonga were removed as eligible countries because they no longer meet the regulatory standards for H-2B visa programs. An addition to the list this year was the Philippines, whose nationals are now eligible to participate in the H-2B visa program.

Here are the countries whose nationals can participate in the H-2B visa programs:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nauru, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia), Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philipinnes, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The H-2B visa program, in particular, provides crucial visas to certain sectors of workforce mobility which support moving workers around the world. It’s important to stay abreast of any updates to these visa programs and the countries that are impacted by them. Should any member have questions regarding this update, please reach out to our Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.