Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano 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.
COMPLETE LIST AS OF JANUARY 2010:
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
USA Visa Tips
Before your visa interview
Requirements before your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate, it is important that you take the time to carefully read this pamphlet, as you will be required to have read and understood the pamphlet before being issued a U.S. visa in your category. In doing so, you will learn about and understand your rights, protections, as well as resources available to you, if help is needed when you come to the U.S. During your visa interview, the consular officer will make sure you are aware of your legal rights and protection. After reading the pamphlet, keep it handy for quick reference later, as needed.
- A valid passport with at least one empty page to stamp the visa.
- Electronically completed forms for each applicant; printed, signed and brought to your interview. Forms that have unacceptable barcodes (those that are not read by the scanner due to poor printer quality and other factors) will not be accepted and applicants will have to exit the Embassy and return with a readable barcode.
- An online DS-160 Electronic for each applicant, regardless of age at the USA embassy website.
- One 2" x 2" color photo taken within the last 6 months.
- A photograph of each applicant, regardless of age, on a white or off-white background, with the applicant facing the camera.
- The face must be totally visible with ears exposed. There should be no bangs covering the forehead.
- The face from the neck up should cover 50 percent of the area of the photograph.
- No glasses may be worn; the head must be uncovered, no hats, handkerchiefs or turbans of any kind, unless your religion prohibits the absence of a head covering.
- The photograph must be clear and sharp, with very good resolution. Unclear, blurred photos will not be accepted. Avoid the use of photographs printed at home that are not on photographic paper.
- Proof of payment of SEVIS fee received.
- Proof of Payment: An original bank receipt showing payment of the non-refundable machine readable visa (MRV) application fee for the equivalent of $140 USD in your lacall curency or as requested to be presented at your interview. Please remember that you must present the original receipt. The MRV fee is valid for one year and is not refundable. This fee is per person, regardless of age, and can be paid at your local National Commercial Bank (NCB) branch. If you already paid this fee to your source, you will receive the receipt.
- Documentation that indicates the nature of the group’s trip is recommended.