Immigration News Recap – Week of 11/11

Written by: Ailen Faiad
Last Updated by Ailen Faiad: November 16, 2022
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1. DHS Announces Eligible Countries for H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

DHS announced the list of eligible countries for the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs. According to the information released, certain countries have adequate procedures in place for the recruitment of temporary foreign workers. This is an important step for companies seeking foreign talent to fill vacancies in their workforces.   

For more information on Work Visas visit the following article hosted on our website 

This is the official list of countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B Visa as of today: 

Germany, Spain, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom, Andorra, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Argentina, Philippines, Luxembourg, Republic of Cyprus, Australia, Finland, North Macedonia, Dominican Republic, Austria, Fiji, Madagascar, Kingdom of Eswatini, Barbados, France, Malta, Romania, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, San Marino, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Grenada, Monaco, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Brazil, Guatemala, Mongolia, St. Lucia, Brunei, Haiti, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Honduras, Mozambique, Singapore, Canada, Hungary, Nauru, South Africa, Chile, Ireland, Nicaragua, Sweden, Colombia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Panama, Thailand, Croatia, Israel, Netherlands, Timor-Leste, Denmark, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Turkey, Ecuador, Jamaica, Paraguay, Tuvalu, El Salvador, Japan, Peru, Ukraine, Slovakia, Kiribati, Poland, Uruguay, Slovenia, Latvia, Portugal, Vanuatu.  

Among the new countries on the list is the Kingdom of Eswatini (Eswatini) and there are some exceptions, such as Mongolia and the Philippines, which are eligible to participate in the H-2B program but are not eligible to participate in the H-2A program. Paraguay is also eligible to participate in the H-2A program but is not eligible to participate in the H-2B program.  

H-2A and H-2B visas allow foreign nationals to work temporarily in the United States. The conditions and limitations for the granting of these visas depend on each country, as well as the type of profession to be performed.  

The guide published by USCIS is an important reference for companies seeking to hire temporary foreign workers. Knowing the necessary conditions and requirements is key to obtaining a successful visa. It is also essential to comply with all procedures.  

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2. Affirmative Asylum Application: How to Apply Online

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is accepting affirmative asylum applications (Form I-589) online.  

However, there are exceptions. Those who fall within these groups will not be able to complete it online:  

If they are in proceedings in an immigration court or before the Board of Immigration Appeals;  

If they are an unaccompanied minor as defined in 6 U.S.C. § 279(g) and are in removal proceedings;  

If they are among the categories of applicants who are currently required to file their application by mail with the Asylum Verification Center as indicated in the Special Instructions section of our Form I-589 webpage 

If you have already filed a Form I-589 that is still pending with USCIS.  

Affirmative asylum allows certain individuals to seek protection in the United States without having to enter through a port of entry or be apprehended by an immigration officer. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may apply for this program through the Asylum Division of USCIS by submitting an online application form.  

Eligibility requirements include:  

a– Be physically present in the United States

b– Have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of future persecution based on one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular society. 

Once you have filed your asylum application, you will be sent an “Asylum Notification” letter to inform you if you are eligible for the program. 

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2. Student Financial Aid Program Blocked

The Student Loan Forgiveness Program, created to help borrowers repay their student loans based on their income, is currently blocked by the U.S. Department of Education.  

The Student Loan Forgiveness Program was created by the federal government to help low-income individuals repay their student loans, as they normally have a very difficult time.   

The next step is for the appeals court to decide whether to impose a preliminary injunction. If the court decides against the injunction, implementation of the program can continue. However, if the court imposes an injunction, the loan forgiveness program would continue to be blocked.  

In the meantime, the online application for student loan forgiveness is still active and borrowers can still submit it. The Department of Education has not closed the application portal.  

Appellants’ emergency motion for an administrative stay prohibits appellees from canceling any student loan debt under the Cancellation program until this Court rules on appellants’ motion for an injunction pending appeal, the court said in a brief order, according to Forbes.  

Biden’s student loan cancellation plan would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for up to 40 million borrowers. To be eligible, borrowers must have earned less than $125,000 (or less than $250,000 if married) in 2020 or 2021.