Late last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule, “Changes to Requirements Affecting H-2B Nonimmigrants,” which gave the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to publish a list of ‘designated’ countries whose residents could be beneficiaries of H-2B visas in the U.S. The initial list, recently published, lists countries that are essential for the H-2B program’s success and have vocalized their cooperation in the repatriation of any of their residents that have received final orders of removal from the U.S. Under current regulations, only nationals of the countries on this list (or those that have made special arrangements with DHS) may apply for and be approved for H-2B status.
Residents of the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2B program:
Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Please note that this notice and the above list will not affect the immigration status of any nonimmigrant’s currently in the U.S. under H-2B status.