US expands list of countries eligible for certain visa programmes

by Ray Clancy on January 14, 2015

The Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal, and Sweden have been added to the United States list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programmes for 2015.

This means that a total of 68 countries are now eligible for the visa programmes that allow US employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs.


A total of 68 countries are now eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visa programmes

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) department 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 programmes.

USCIS 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.

Meanwhile, officials are reminding applicants that to promote family unity, immigration law allows US citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States.

Eligible immediate relatives include the citizen’s spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 and a parent if the US citizen is over the age of 21.

Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories. Also, certain people are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) while inside the United States.

People who are currently outside the United States and are an immediate relative of a US citizen, can become a permanent resident through consular processing when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available.

The person may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a US port of entry.

The Department of State notifies such applicants when they are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. If they do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, their petition may be terminated.

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