Free trade agreements the United States made with Chile and Singapore allow employers in the U.S. to hire workers from Chile and Singapore for certain occupations. The H-1B1 visa was created just for these employees.
While these visas offer tremendous opportunities, they come with very specific restrictions. Moreover, because these visas can often be renewed indefinitely, the government requires applicants to show that they do not intend to immigrate to the U.S. permanently. Applicants who fail to present appropriate evidence will be denied an H-1B1 visa.
For that reason, you may want to consider working with an experienced immigration lawyer when applying for an H-1B1 visa. The knowledgeable team at Luis F. Hess, PLLC can help you demonstrate your qualifications and avoid errors that could cause your application to be delayed or denied.
Workers Eligible for an H-1B1 Visa
Since these visas are designated for workers from Chile and Singapore, proof of citizenship in one of these countries is an essential requirement. Applicants must also show that they hold a post-secondary degree representing at least four years of study in their field of specialization.
To obtain an H-1B1 visa, an applicant must be coming to the U.S. to work for a U.S. employer in a “specialty occupation.” This would be a job that requires both theoretical and practical application of very specialized knowledge. As examples, the U.S. Department of Labor notes that engineers, computer programmers, medical doctors, teachers, and physical therapists are eligible for employment with an H-1B1 visa. Workers must be hired by a U.S. employer; they cannot be self-employed.
Limitations on the H-1B1Visa
Many of the same rules that apply to the H-1B visa also apply to the H-1B1 visa, but there are key differences. Limitations on the H-1B1 visa include:
- Only 1,400 workers from Chile may receive this visa each year
- Only 5,400 workers from Singapore may receive this visa each year
- The visa is granted for one only year. Visa holders may receive two one-year extensions, and further extensions are available indefinitely if the employer files a new Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor
- Applicants must demonstrate an intent to return to their home country
- Workers on an H-1B1 visa are not permitted to change employers in the same manner as workers on an H-1B visa.
One key element that distinguishes the H-1B1 visa from the H-1B visa is that applicants for an H-1B1 visa cannot enter the U.S. with “dual intent.” H-1B employees can come to the U.S. with the intention of working temporarily on a nonimmigrant visa while also seeking to immigrate. H-1B1 visa holders must show conclusively that they do not intend to immigrate.
Once a worker has a detailed offer of employment and a Labor Condition Application certified by the Department of Labor, they may submit an application and supporting documentation to the U.S. consulate in their home country.
Assistance with H-1B1 Visa for Workers or Derivative Visas for Spouses and Children
The skilled immigration lawyers at Luis F. Hess, PLLC frequently help workers from Chile and Singapore obtain their H-1B1 visas as well as H-4 visas for dependent spouses and minor children. Professional legal guidance not only helps you avoid many common pitfalls, but provides you with more options for assistance if a problem arises during the application or review process.
Talk to the immigration attorneys at Luis F. Hess today to learn how we could help with your visa application.