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Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way e. Paraguay will be added to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for H-2A visas. There are 84 approved countries eligible to participate in the H-2A program and 81 countries eligible for the H-2B visa in The eligibility designation expires after one year and must be renewed.

The notice does not affect workers currently in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status. Reasons to remove a country from the list include fraud, abuse, visa denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and noncompliance with H-2A and H-2B terms and conditions by nationals of that country, as well as evidence of economic impact on U.

Additionally, the country has a high incidence of H-2B workers trafficked to the U. The overstay and human trafficking concerns were severe enough to warrant removal from the H-2A visa program as well. Mozambique and Paraguay were added for eligibility because of those countries' low overstay rates and because it was determined that workers from the countries will benefit from relevant work experience in the U.

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DHS Strips H-2 Visa Eligibility from Three Countries

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HR Daily Newsletter News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day. Contact Us SHRM Page Information Page Properties.The notice listing the eligible countries was published in the Federal Register on Jan. Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have agreed to:.

DHS maintains its authority to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country at any time DHS and DOS determine that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation.

Examples of factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include, but are not limited to, fraud, abuse, denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and other forms of non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs by nationals of that country.

However, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions, including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

Effective Jan. This notice does not affect the status of beneficiaries who currently are in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status. Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have agreed to: Add Mozambique and Samoa to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs; Add Paraguay to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A visa program; No longer designate Ethiopia and the Philippines as eligible countries because they no longer meet the regulatory standards for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs; and No longer designate the Dominican Republic as an eligible country for the H-2B visa program because it no longer meets the regulatory standards for that program.In this article, we will examine the H2A and H2B eligible countries list.

To see and compare to the list, please see our archived article on that subject [ see article ]. Second, Paraguay has been added to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H2A visa program.

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After being participants in the H2A and H2B visa programs inneither Ethiopia nor the Philippines were designated as eligible in The new designations have no effect on foreign nationals who are currently in H2A or H2B status.

However, such foreign nationals may be affected by the notice if they seek an extension of stay in H2 status or a change of status from H2 to another. We discuss change of nonimmigrant status in a separate article [ see article ].

The H2 nonimmigrant visa categories are used to fill certain non-specialty jobs. Employers seeking H2 workers and foreign nationals seeking H2 positions should consult with an experienced immigration attorney in the area of employment immigration for case-specific guidance. To learn more about the H2 nonimmigrant visa categories and other nonimmigrant work visa categories, please see our website's growing section on work visas [ see category ].

Skip to main content. Skip to content. Conclusion The H2 nonimmigrant visa categories are used to fill certain non-specialty jobs.First, three countries that were eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B visa programs in are no longer eligible.

Each of these countries was determined to be ineligible to participate in the H2A and H2B nonimmigrant visa programs based on the applicable regulations.

h2a visa countries

Mongolia was added to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B nonimmigrant visa programs. The Federal Register notice included a list of countries eligible to participate in the H2A and H2B nonimmigrant visa programs in This means that nationals of Moldova are not eligible for H2B visas.

h2a visa countries

We explained why Moldova is only designated for participation in the H2A visa program in our article on the list [ see article ]. However, the DHS may approve an H2A or H2B petition filed on behalf of a national of a non-participating country if it determines that the approval of such a petition would be in the U.

The regulations providing for this special exemption are found in 8 C. The list of countries designated for participation in the H2A and H2B visa programs is updated annually every January The DHS reserves the right to change the terms of participation of any country in the interim in its discretion.

To learn more about work visas in general, please see the full category on our website [ see category ]. Skip to main content. Skip to content.Foreign agricultural workers temporarily admitted into the United States on H-2A visas are exempt from U. Social Security and Medicare taxes on compensation paid to them for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa. This is true whether they are resident aliens or nonresident aliens.

In addition, compensation paid to H-2A agricultural workers for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa is not subject to mandatory withholding of U. The employer will report the compensation in box 1 Wages, tips and other compensation of Form W Employers are not required to withhold U. Employers can withhold federal income tax only if both the H-2A agricultural worker and the employer agree to withhold.

There is no need for the H-2A agricultural worker to submit a Form W-4 if there is no agreement to withhold U. If the employer withholds income tax, the employer will report the tax withheld in box 2 Federal income tax withheld on Form W-2 and on line 8 Federal income tax withheld on Form In the case of voluntary withholding of federal income tax on an H-2A agricultural worker, the employer is required to do one of the following:.

An H-2A agricultural worker who chooses not to participate in voluntary withholding of U. Please refer to the instructions for those forms for more information on the requirement to make estimated tax payments. An H-2A agricultural worker who is not required to make federal estimated tax payments may wish to make such payments anyway in order to avoid a large balance of tax due when filing a U. An H-2A agricultural worker who is unable to apply for a U.

Similarly, the Form S reporting requirement on wages paid to a nonresident alien H-2A agricultural worker is waived because the payments are required to be reported on Form W-2 or Form MISC in the event of backup withholding. Generally, compensation paid to H-2A agricultural workers is not subject to U. There are different rules for workers who are residents of the United States and for those who are nonresident aliens.

If, in any individual case, the compensation paid to an H-2A agricultural worker who is a resident of the United States is construed to be non-employee compensation which constitutes self-employment income and is therefore subject to U.

If a Totalization Agreement determines that the H-2A agricultural worker is covered under the social security system of a foreign country, then such worker is not subject to U. The worker must obtain a certificate of coverage from the foreign country to establish an exemption from U.

If a particular worker who is a nonresident alien receives self-employment income, the worker would be exempt from U. Please refer to International Agreements for more information. Income tax treaties may affect the taxation of H-2A agricultural workers in the United States.

If an H-2A agricultural worker is a resident of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in force, the worker may be eligible for an exemption from U. Please see PublicationTax Treaties, for a description of the applicable treaty rules. Rather, an eligible worker would claim a treaty exemption on his or her income tax return after the end of the tax year. If an H-2A agricultural worker spends sufficient time in the United States, he or she may become a U. H-2A agricultural workers who are treated as residents of the other country under a tiebreaker rule will be treated as nonresident aliens in figuring their U.

h2a visa countries

Alternatively, they may elect, on a year-by-year basis, to be treated as U. H-2A agricultural workers who are treated as residents of the United States under a tiebreaker rule will be treated as U. Please see PublicationU. Tax Guide for Aliens, for an explanation of the alien residency rules for tax purposes.

Even though the compensation paid to H-2A agricultural workers is not usually subject to withholding of U.An H-2A visa allows a foreign national worker into the United States for temporary agricultural work. There are several requirements of the employer in regard to this visa. The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.

Terms of work can be as short as a month or two or as long as 10 months in most cases, although there are some special procedures that allow workers to stay longer than 10 months. All of these workers are covered by U. Because of concern that guest workers might be unfairly exploited the U. H-2A employers are the only group of employers who are required to pay inbound and outbound transportation, free housing, and provide meals for their workers. H-2A agricultural employers are among the most heavily regulated and monitored employers in the United States.

2019 H2A and H2B Eligible Countries

Unlike other guest worker programs, there is no cap on the number of H-2A visas allocated each year. The wage or rate of pay must be the same for U. The hourly rate must be at least as high as the applicable Adverse Effect Wage Rate AEWR[3] federal or state minimum wageor the applicable prevailing hourly wage ratewhichever is higher.

If a worker will be paid on a piece rate basis, the worker must be paid the prevailing piece rate as determined by the State Workers Agency SWA. If the piece rate does not result in average hourly piece rate earnings during the pay period at least equal to the amount the worker would have earned had the worker been paid at the hourly rate, then the worker's pay must be supplemented to the equivalent hourly level.

Hiring means an active effort, including newspaper and radio advertising in areas of expected labor supply. Such recruitment must be at least equivalent to that conducted by non-H-2A agricultural employers in the same or similar crops and area to secure U.

2018 List of H2A and H2B Eligible Countries

This must be an effort independent of and in addition to the efforts of the SWA for at least 15 days. The employer must provide free housing to all workers who are not reasonably able to return to their homes or residences the same day.

Such housing must be inspected and approved according to appropriate standards. An alternative form of housing is rental housing, which has to meet local or state health and safety standards. The employer must either provide three meals a day to each of the workers or furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen for workers to prepare and cook their own meals.

If the employer provides the meals, then the employer has the right to charge each worker a certain amount per day for the three meals. There are several provisions on the transportation of workers. The amount of transportation payment shall be no less and shall not be required to be more than the most economical and reasonably similar to the transportation charges for the distances involved. After the worker completes at least half of the work contract period, the employer must reimburse the worker for the costs of transportation and subsistence from the place of recruitment to the place of work if these expenses were charged to the worker.

The employer must provide free transportation to the worker between the employer's housing and the area of work. And upon completion of the work contract, the employer must pay the costs of a worker's subsistence and transportation back to the place of recruitment. Some special conditions apply when the worker does not return to the area of recruitment because they are moving to another job.

If the employer compensates foreign workers for transportation costs then they must do so for U. If the employer provides transportation for foreign workers, they must provide transportation to US workers as well.

The employer must cover the cost of tools and supplies necessary to carry out the work at no cost to the worker, unless this is uncommon and the occupation calls for the worker to provide certain items.

Citizenship and Immigration Services a branch of the U. Department of Homeland Securitya visa from a consular officer representing the U.

Department of Stateand a Form I issued by U. Customs and Border Protection at a port of entry. The State Workforce Agency is also responsible for handling job orders for the H-2B visabut the specific contact person or mailing address may differ. Additionally, the employer must advertise for the position in local newspapers.The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Jan.

Forthe acting secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, that the countries designated as eligible in will remain unchanged. DHS maintains its authority to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country whenever DHS and DOS determine that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation.

Examples of factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include fraud, abuse, denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and other forms of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs by nationals of that country.

However, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions, including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States. Effective Jan. This notice does not affect the status of H-2 beneficiaries who currently are in the United States unless they apply to extend their status.