Except as noted below, H-2A petitions may only be approved for nationals of countries that the secretary of homeland security has designated, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, as eligible to participate in the H-2A program.
The Department of Homeland Security publishes the list of H-2A and H-2B eligible countries in a Federal Register notice. Designation of eligible countries is valid for one year from publication.
Effective Nov. 10, 2022, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A program:
Andorra Fiji Malta Serbia Argentina Finland Mauritius Singapore Australia France Mexico Slovakia Austria Germany Monaco Slovenia Barbados Greece Montenegro Solomon Islands Belgium Grenada Mozambique South Africa Bosnia and Herzegovina Guatemala Nauru South Korea Brazil Haiti The Netherlands Spain Brunei Honduras New Zealand St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bulgaria Hungary Nicaragua Sweden Canada Iceland North Macedonia Switzerland Chile Ireland Norway Taiwan* Colombia Israel Panama Thailand Costa Rica Italy Papua New Guinea Timor-Leste Croatia Jamaica Paraguay Turkey Czech Republic Japan Peru Tuvalu Denmark Kiribati Poland Ukraine Dominican Republic Latvia Portugal United Kingdom Ecuador Liechtenstein Republic of Cyprus Uruguay El Salvador Lithuania Romania Vanuatu Estonia Luxembourg Saint Lucia The Kingdom of Eswatini Madagascar San Marino
*Regarding all references to “country” or “countries” in this document, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that “[w]henever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” See 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1). Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the regulations governing whether nationals of a country are eligible for H-2 program participation. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(i) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(1), are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.
The secretary of homeland security may consider adding a country to the Eligible Countries List upon receiving a recommendation from the U.S. Department of State or a written request from an unlisted foreign government, an employer that would like to hire nationals of an unlisted country in H-2A status, or another interested party or parties. When designating countries to include on the list, the secretary of homeland security, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, will take into account factors that include the following:
- The country’s cooperation with issuing travel documents for citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country who are subject to a final order of removal
- The number of final and unexecuted (meaning completed but not yet carried out) orders of removal against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country
- The number of orders of removal executed against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of that country
- Other factors as may serve the U.S. interest. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(i) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(1).
If you want DHS to consider adding a country to the Eligible Country List, send a written request to DHS’s Office of Policy, or the Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Country listings are valid for one year. DHS may add a country to the Eligible Country List whenever the secretary of homeland security determines that the country is eligible.
A national from a country not on the list may only be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A petition if the secretary of homeland security determines that it is in the U.S. interest for the national to be the beneficiary of such a petition. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(iii) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(ii) for additional evidentiary requirements.
Note: If you request H-2A workers from both eligible and non-eligible countries, USCIS suggests that you file two separate petitions. Filing one petition for workers from eligible countries and a separate petition for workers from non-eligible countries may help decrease delays in processing your request for H-2A workers.