Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ethiopians Now Eligible for USA H-2A and H-2B Non Immigrant Visas

Immigrating to the West is many nations’ dream. Ethiopians are no exception. In the past two decades, tens of thousands of Ethiopians have immigrated to the USA after winning the DV Lottery.

Many have come to Canada as refugees and after qualifying in family class category.

So far, immigration to the USA or Canada have only been as permanent residents. No country has opened its doors for Ethiopians as temporary seasonal workers, for example, as Canada has allowed to Caribbean nations.

I am truly excited at the announcement made by the USA government, allowing Ethiopian citizens to be included in the list of 11 countries eligible to come to the USA as temporary workers. Ethiopia is the only African nation in the list. This is a great testimony that America values the contribution of Ethiopians to their economy.

Although these non-immigrant workers will be doing jobs Americans don’t want to do, it will give job opportunities to some. And, in turn the workers will be helping their family back in Ethiopia. My sincere thanks goes to Secretary Janet Napolitano and the USA government for including our motherland in the list. I hope that the Government of Canada will also allow Ethiopians to come as temp workers in the near future.

While some are now getting ready to apply for visas under this new provision to come to the USA, many Ethiopians (who have retired after working for many years in the West) have been moving back to Ethiopia in the past decade or so. Most of these retirees have done very well financially and career wise in the west, particularly in the USA. Some, who are still working in the West, are planning their move back to Ethiopia once they reach the retirement age.

I hope that the retirees’ move back home to Ethiopia will bring benefit to:

  • Ethiopia as a country (from the wisdom and money of the retirees)
  • The individual retiree [as he/she could afford to hire people and easily get help; as labour is not expensive – and perhaps, retirees could help in many social functions, e.g.: “Edir Dagnas” :-)]
  • The West nation that they retire from (as there will be less social burden on accommodating these old people)

Moving back to one’s homeland is not a new trend. Many nationalities like, Greeks, Polish, Chinese, have been doing it. These nations have worked hard here in the West when they were young and productive. Some did work two jobs and were able to save a lot of money. Then, when they got older and weaker, they decided to go back to their native land, where old people are respected and not just left alone to fight for their dignity. Here in North America, I have come across some families who just discarded their elder parents like a used packing carton. This is against the principles of one of the ten commandments, to “respect ones parents”.

So, what is your plan when you retire? Stay where you are or move somewhere else? Ethiopia? If your plan is to retire in Ethiopia, I suggest that you start planning now before property values go too high.

Below is the news release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the H-2a and H-2b Visas:

Release Date: January 22, 2010

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Secretary Napolitano Designates 11 New Countries as Eligible for H-2a and H-2b Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano this week designated 11 new countries as eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs, which allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary or seasonal jobs for which U.S. workers are not available.

The 11 newly designated countries—Croatia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ireland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Uruguay—join 28 countries previously designated as eligible to participate in these programs.

The initial lists of participating countries for the H-2A and H-2B programs—published in December 2008—expired on Jan. 17 and 18, respectively. After consulting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary Napolitano determined that the 11 newly designated countries meet the standards required for participation in the H-2A and H-2B programs. The new combined list was published Monday in the Federal Register.

On a case-by-case basis, DHS may allow a worker from a country not on the participating country list to be eligible for the H-2A or H-2B program if such participation is in the interest of the United States.

For more information, visit



Prior to this announcement, 28 countries were eligible for this H-2a and H-2b programs.  With these 11 new additional countries, the list is now expanded to a total of 39 countries:

Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday February o4, 2010.
Mullkam Samint!

January 28, 2010 - Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I am from Ethiopia I want to qualify for the H/2a and H/2b visa.

    Comment by Hana Temesgen | February 25, 2010 | Reply

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