[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 13 (Friday, January 18, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4154-4155]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00908]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[DHS-2011-0108]
RIN 1601-ZA11


Identification of Foreign Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible 
To Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker Programs

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may approve petitions for 
H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant status only for nationals of countries that 
the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the 
Secretary of State, has designated by notice published in the Federal 
Register. That notice must be renewed each year. This notice announces 
that the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the 
Secretary of State, is identifying 59 countries whose nationals are 
eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for the coming 
year. The list published today includes one new addition: Grenada.

DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective January 18, 2013, and 
shall be without effect at the end of one year after January 18, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Francis Cissna, Office of Policy, 
Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, (202) 447-3835.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background: Generally, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions 
for nationals of only those countries that the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, has 
designated as participating countries. Such designation must be 
published as a notice in the Federal Register and expires after one 
year. USCIS, however, may allow a national from a country not on the 
list to be named as a beneficiary of an H-2A or H-2B petition based on 
a determination that such participation is in the U.S. interest. See 8 
CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E).
    In designating countries to include on the list, the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, will 
take into account factors including, but not limited to: (1) The 
country's cooperation with respect to issuance of travel documents for 
citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country who are 
subject to a final order of removal; (2) the number of final and 
unexecuted orders of removal against citizens, subjects, nationals, and 
residents of that country; (3) the number of orders of removal executed 
against citizens, subjects,

[[Page 4155]]

nationals, and residents of that country; and (4) such 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).
    In December 2008, DHS published in the Federal Register two 
notices, ``Identification of Foreign Countries Whose Nationals Are 
Eligible to Participate in the H-2A Visa Program,'' and 
``Identification of Foreign Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible to 
Participate in the H-2B Visa Program,'' which designated 28 countries 
whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B 
programs. See 73 FR 77,043 (Dec. 18, 2008); 73 FR 77,729 (Dec. 19, 
2008). The notices ceased to have effect on January 17, 2010 and 
January 18, 2010, respectively. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(2) and 8 
CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(3). To allow for the continued operation of the 
H-2A and H-2B programs, the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the 
concurrence of the Secretary of State, has published subsequent notices 
on an annual basis. See 75 FR 2,879 (Jan. 19, 2010) (adding 11 
countries); 76 FR 2,915 (Jan. 18, 2011) (removing Indonesia and adding 
15 countries); 77 FR 2,558 (Jan. 18, 2012) (adding five countries).
    The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the 
concurrence of the Secretary of State, that the 58 countries designated 
in the January 18, 2012 notice continue to meet the standards 
identified in that notice for eligible countries and therefore should 
remain designated as countries whose nationals are eligible to 
participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs. Further, the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, has 
determined to add Grenada to the list. This determination is made 
taking into account the four factors identified above. The Secretary of 
Homeland Security also considered other pertinent factors including, 
but not limited to, evidence of past usage of the H-2A and H-2B 
programs by nationals of the country to be added, as well as evidence 
relating to the economic impact on particular U.S. industries or 
regions resulting from the addition or continued non-inclusion of 
specific countries.

Designation of Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible To Participate in 
the H-2A and H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker Programs

    Pursuant to the authority provided to the Secretary of Homeland 
Security under sections 214(a)(1), 215(a)(1), and 241 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(1), 1185(a)(1), and 
1231), I am designating, with the concurrence of the Secretary of 
State, nationals from the following countries to be eligible to 
participate in the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant worker programs:

Argentina
Australia
Barbados
Belize
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Grenada
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Japan
Kiribati
Latvia
Lithuania
Macedonia
Mexico
Moldova
Montenegro
Nauru
The Netherlands
Nicaragua
New Zealand
Norway
Papua New Guinea
Peru
The Philippines
Poland
Romania
Samoa
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Switzerland
Tonga
Turkey
Tuvalu
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu

    This notice does not affect the status of aliens who currently hold 
valid H-2A or H-2B nonimmigrant status. Persons holding such status, 
however, will be affected by this notice at the time they seek an 
extension of stay in H-2 classification, or a change of status (1) from 
another nonimmigrant status to H-2 status or (2) from one H-2 status to 
another.
    Nothing in this notice limits the authority of the Secretary of 
Homeland Security or her designee or any other federal agency to invoke 
against any foreign country or its nationals any other remedy, penalty, 
or enforcement action available by law.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-00908 Filed 1-17-13; 8:45 am]
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