The H-1B1 visa program is similar to the H-1B program, although it provides temporary employment of nonimmigrant aliens in specialty occupations specifically from Chile and Singapore.
Our Atlanta employment-based immigration lawyers know one of the biggest challenges of visa approval is a lackof knowledge regarding visa types and application requirements. Before making any major decisions as an employeeor employer, we encourage you to find out more about the H-1B1 visa.
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What Is An H-1B1 Visa for Professionals from Chile and Singapore?
If you’re an American employer and want to hire workers from Chile or Singapore, you can sponsor the prospective foreign national employee for the H-1B1 visa. When the United States entered into Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Singapore and Chile in 2003, it provided a new class of non-immigrant work visas for Singaporean and Chilean citizens: the H-1B1.
The Difference Between H-1B and H-1B1 Visas
The H-1B1 program is governed by many of the rules that apply to the H-1B program. The H-1B visa program temporarily enables qualifying U.S. employers to hire foreign workers for highly specialized occupations. H-1B visas allow for dual intent, which means foreign nationals can come to work in a professional position temporarily while intending to permanently immigrate to the United States.
However, with an H-1B1 visa, the applicant has to demonstrate they have no intention of immigrating to the U.S.
Additionally, H-1B1 visas are only valid for one-year increments, instead of the three-year validity periods that come with H-1B visa status.
H-1B1 Visas: What Businesses Should Know
- U.S. employers are not allowed to hire foreign professionals from Chile and Singapore at a lower rate than U.S. workers.
- H-1B1 visas are company, location and position-specific. Once onboard, any significant change for an H-1B1 employee, such as a promotion, or any change within the sponsoring organization like a merger, for example, may require immigration approval.
- It’s important to plan extensions and new consular applications well in advance to avoid violations of status.
Suitable Candidates for an H-1B1 Visa
H-1B1 visas are for “specialty occupation” workers who have a job offer in the United States. Furthermore, the job offered must require having a U.S equivalent bachelor’s degree in a specific field. Therefore, the worker should have the relevant four-year degree or the equivalent combined education and/or experience.
For instance, an entry-level software engineer must have a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. If you have a bachelor’s degree in education, you won’t qualify for an H-1B1 to work as a software engineer.
Examples of specialty occupations include jobs in the fields of computer sciences, medicine and health care, mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, education, biotechnology, and business specialties like human resources and management.
Frequently Asked Questions About H-1B1 Visas for Professionals from Chile and Singapore
Spouses and unmarried children (below the age of 21 years) of the H-1B1 visa holder are eligible for H4 dependent visas, however, these do not allow them to work in the U.S.
Dependents of the principal visa holder may enroll themselves into academic studies (school or university) without the need for a student visa.
Dependents who are not Singaporean or Chilean are encouraged to apply for their visas at the same time as the principal application, regardless of whether they have plans to travel to the United States.
If the H-1B1 visa holder is not present for the application of their non-Singaporean or non-Chilean spouse and children, their dependents may be asked to apply in their home country.
Visa holders may enter and leave the U.S. multiple times during its validity without reapplying for a visa or travel registration.
Applicants apply directly to the U.S. Consulate, which is quicker than waiting on the U.S.CIS. H-1B1 visa filing fees are also less expensive than H-1B visas.
H-1B1 visas are only valid for one-year increments. However, there is no limit on the number of times it can be issued or renewed.
Green Card Eligibility:
H-1B1 are single intent visas; therefore, visa holders may not pursue permanent residence while in H-1B1 status. Yet, they may apply for regular H-1B status. Only once they attain this status can they apply for permanent residence.
The H-1B1 visa program is capped at 1,400 for Chileans and 5,400 for Singaporeans, which is part of the overall H-1B1 visa pool (65,000 per fiscal year).
H-1B1 specialty occupations are very similar to H-1B specialty occupations. The occupation your company is hiring for must be “highly specialized” and require a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty. The role must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Minimum entry-level requirements of a bachelor’s degree, its equivalency, or a higher degree
- There are some exceptions to the 4-year degree requirement, such as Chileans who are physical therapists and agricultural managers do not need a degree.
- Most other similar positions in the industry also require a B.S.
- The H-1B1 sponsor typically requires a B.S. degree for the role
- The specific role is so unique or complex that it requires the knowledge attained from a Bachelor’s degree (i.e., program analyst, network engineer, accountant, etc.)
If you have questions about the qualifications and requirements for an H-1B1 visa, it’s advisable to consult experienced employment-based immigration lawyers. While the USCIS doesn’t require application via an attorney, hiring an immigration lawyer can save time and money.
- A qualified attorney provides the best chances of approval, especially considering the strict cap on applicants every year.
- For businesses, any mistakes and omissions can prevent the hiring of crucial employees.
- Working with Georgia immigration attorneys streamlines the process and reduces the stress associated with collecting and submitting the correct documentation.