U.S. allows Latvian guest workers

Latvia is among new countries from which employers may temporarily bring workers to America under H-2A and H-2B visas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Jan. 14. The designation is valid for one year.

Under the H-2A program, employers are able to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary agricultural jobs. The H-2B program is for non-agricultural jobs.

Estonia and Lithuania also are on the list. Latvia and Estonia are among 15 countries added to the guest worker list for the first time this year, according to the USCIS announcement.

The additions were made by the Department of Homeland Security in consultation with the Department of State. In all, 53 countries are on the list for this year.

To qualify for the programs, according to USCIS, the job must be of a temporary or seasonal nature, the employer must show that not enough U.S. workers are available to do the work, and the employer has to show that employing foreign workers will not adversely affect wages of U.S. workers.

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