US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security

Secretary Napolitano Designates 11 New Countries as Eligible for H-2a and H-2b Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

Release Date: 
January 22, 2010

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano this week designated 11 new countries as eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs, which allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary or seasonal jobs for which U.S. workers are not available.

The 11 newly designated countries—Croatia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Uruguay—join 28 countries previously designated as eligible to participate in these programs.

The initial lists of participating countries for the H-2A and H-2B programs—published in December 2008—expired on Jan. 17 and 18, respectively. After consulting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary Napolitano determined that the 11 newly designated countries meet the standards required for participation in the H-2A and H-2B programs. The new combined list was published Monday in the Federal Register.

On a case-by-case basis, DHS may allow a worker from a country not on the participating country list to be eligible for the H-2A or H-2B program if such participation is in the interest of the United States.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

###

Back to Top