US: USCIS announces addition of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to eligible countries for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have added St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs for the coming year.

The notice listing the eligible countries was published on Oct. 26, 2016, in the Federal Register. DHS reserves the right to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country at any time DHS determines that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation.

The H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, respectively. Typically, USCIS only approves H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. USCIS, however, may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries not on the list if it is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

For more information on these programs, see the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers page and the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers page.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK