Changes to List of H-2B Visa-Eligible Countries Announced by DHS

The H-2B visa allows foreign nationals to come to the United State to temporarily fill certain nonagricultural jobs, but only if they are from one of certain eligible countries; the list of which has recently been changed.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

As readers of Nolo's book U.S. Immigration Made Easy will know, the H-2B visa allows foreign nationals to come to the United States for temporary periods to fill certain nonagricultural jobs; but only if they are from one of the countries on a list maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Recently, some adjustments were made to that list (which list is also printed in Nolo's book).

DHS has issued a notice detailing these changes, and listing the countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2B (as well as H-2A) visa programs in the coming year, 2022.

DHS's basis for choosing the eligible countries is, broadly speaking, whether they meet various regulatory requirements and whether their citizens who have come to the U.S. in the past have violated the terms of their visa or failed to return home on time once their permitted stay was over. (See Consequences of Overstaying a U.S. Visa or I-94.)

In the H-2B category, the recent changes include adding these countries to the list of eligible ones:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Dominican Republic (which was formerly only eligible for the H-2A program)
  • Haiti
  • Mauritius, and
  • Saint Lucia.

Moldova is being removed from the list for the H-2A visa program (starting January 18, 2022) but remains on the H-2B list.

For more information, see H-2B Visa for Temporary Nonagricultural Workers: Who Qualifies?.

Effective Date: November 10, 2021