The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), recently released information specifying eligible countries whose nationals may participate in 2019 H-2A and H-2B visa programs.
For 2019, the agencies have agreed to:
- Add Mozambique and Samoa to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs;
- Add Paraguay to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A visa program;
- No longer designate Ethiopia and the Philippines as eligible countries because they no longer meet the regulatory standards for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs; and
- No longer designate the Dominican Republic as an eligible country for the H-2B visa program because it no longer meets the regulatory standards for that program.
USCIS said factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include but are not limited to 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.