USCIS Releases List of Countries Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Visas | Illinois Immigration Attorney
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USCIS Releases List of Countries Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Visas

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IL immigration attorneyThe U.S. immigration process can seem intimidating to someone who has never stepped foot in the United States before. An immigrant cannot simply come here without having proper documentation. There are many terms and designations that foreign nationals need to understand if they want to enter the country legally. A person from a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States lawfully must first obtain a visa, which is a travel document issued by the individual’s country of citizenship. There are different types of visas, so it is imperative that those going through the immigration process understand which visas are available to them. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the countries that are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs.

Who Made the Cut?

For the year 2020, the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, in concurrence with the Office of the Secretary of State, that the countries designated eligible in 2019 will remain the same. DHS has the authority to add countries to the list at any time. They can also remove a country if DHS and DOS determine that a country fails to qualify for classification. Examples of circumstances that may lead to the exclusion or removal of a country from the list include:

  • Fraud
  • Abuse
  • Denial statistics
  • Overstay rates
  • Human trafficking

In addition, any other forms of noncompliance with the qualifications of the H-2 visa by nationals of that country would render a country ineligible.

Who Can Use H-2A and H-2B Visas?

There are over 20 nonimmigrant visa types for people traveling to the United States on a temporary basis. For those immigrants who want to live permanently in the country, more types of visas are available. Certain criteria must be met for an individual to obtain a visa. The requirements vary depending on the type of visa.

The H-2A and H-2B visas fall under the Non-immigrant Visa category. These visas allow U.S. companies to bring foreign nationals to the country to fill agricultural as well as non-agricultural temporary or seasonal jobs. Generally, USCIS approves H-2A and H-2B petitions only for those citizens of countries that DHS has deemed as eligible to participate in those visa programs. However, USCIS may accept H-2A and H-2B petitions for foreign nationals even if their country does not make the list on a case-by-case basis. This is only done if it is considered to be in the United States’ best interests.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney

Immigration is a complex legal process that many people may not understand or may take for granted. At the Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, P.C., we strive to help people from all over the world achieve their dream of living in the United States. Our professional and dedicated Illinois immigration attorneys know the federal laws regulating lawful entry and we also do everything in our power to keep families together. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 630-932-9100.




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