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Expanding the H 2A and H 2B Visa Programs ~ USCIS Updates November 2023

The Expansion of H-2A and the H-2B Visa Programs

The post-September 11 world presented a paradigm shift that significantly altered US immigration policy. In this blog, we will be taking you through some of the new developments in US immigration policy.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided detailed changes that will affect the H-2A and H-2B visa programs. Employers in the United States use these crucial programs to hire foreign nationals for temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs.

What Are The Key Changes?

Eligibility Extension:

Bolivia was added to the list of nations that are eligible to take part in these visa programs on November 9, 2023.

Country Count:

There are 87 countries in the revised H-2A agricultural workers program and 83 in the H-2B non-agricultural workers program.


Effective Duration:

This declaration expires on November 8, 2024.

Flexibility in Approvals:

In cases where it is in the interests of the United States, USCIS may approve visa petitions on an individual basis for nationals of other countries other than the designated ones.

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Implications for Current Visa Holders

H-2A and H-2B beneficiaries currently in the United States will not be affected by the new notice until November 9, 2023, or when they apply to extend their stay after this period, respectively.

This does not affect petitions approved as of date, and it still allows eligibility for H-2 visa stamping at US Embassies or Consulates.

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