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US jobs alert: New list for temporary work visa

US consular officer Laura Stein will log on for a webchat on Thursday at 1300 UTC (5pm UAE time). (Shutterstock)

By Majorie van Leijen

The updated list of nationalities eligible for a temporary work visa to the United States has been announced.

The temporary work visa comes in two forms, being the H2a and H2b visa. Whereas the former applies to workers in the agricultural or other seasonal work sector, the latter is a broader visa that could be granted to anybody filling a temporary position in the US.

However, the H2a or H2b visa is not for everybody.

Apart from a list of conditions for a successful application for a temporary visa, a limited number of countries are eligible for the visa.

Since January17, 2014 the list counts 63 countries, four more than last year.

Last week the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the updated list as decided by the Department of Homeland Security.

For many UAE residents the announcement was not much of a game changer.

Traditionally, the UAE has not been on the list of eligible countries, neither has India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh. Citizens from the Phillippines are eligible for the visa.

Residents from the European continent are luckier, with the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Spain and most eastern European countries listed as eligible. Surprisingly, France is missing.

New additions to the 2014 list are Italy, Austria, Panama, and Thailand.

Neighbouring Canada is listed, and so are Australia and South Africa.

A US employer may hire a temporary worker from abroad if there are not enough US workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the work, as long as the employment does not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers and as long as the labour is temporary.

The length of the temporary service is to be determined per contract and may be extended in year terms, although not longer than three years consecutively.

After this period a new application must be submitted.

For a complete list of the eligible countries per January 17, click here:

[Image via Shutterstock]