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Four more countries added to H-2A, H-2B visa programs

Many companies in the United States rely on employment visa programs to get foreign workers into the country to work in temporary positions. Employment-based visas can be complicated and many employers have become frustrated with the process and how many countries the U.S. allows to be in the visa programs.

In what will most likely be seen as good news for many employers in the U.S., the US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the Department of Homeland Security has added four more countries to H-2A and H-2B visa programs for this year. The four countries added are Austria, Panama, Italy and Thailand.  

This means that nationals from these countries are eligible to apply for these visas to work in the U.S. The H-2A and H-2B visas allow individuals from other countries to work in temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. In most cases, these visas are only approved for nationals from countries approved by the Department of Homeland Security, but visas can still be approved for nationals from other countries if the USCIS chooses to do so.

With the addition of the four new countries, the program now has 63 countries that are approved for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs. 

Individuals from any of the approved 63 countries should become more familiar with the two different visa programs offered by the U.S. to see which one may work for them and what the eligibility requirements are. 

The fact that four additional countries were added to the countries approved for these visa programs is good news for employers in the U.S. looking to hire temporary workers from foreign countries. 

Source: Expat Forum, "New countries added to US temporary worker visa programme 2014," Ray Clancy, Jan. 20, 2014

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