Many people travel to the US after receiving a job offer. These people must obtain H-type permission before entering. This visa is a kind of temporary work permit for professionals and non-professionals and is divided into several general categories, H1B1, H1B, H1C, H2A, H2B, H3, and H4. The H1B1 visa means a temporary work visa for professionals who are citizens of Chile and Singapore.

What is the H1B1 visa?

In 2004, the US government joined the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile and Singapore. Under this agreement, Chile and Singapore citizens are qualified to apply for employment in the US with this visa.  People who live in Chile and Singapore but do not have passports from these countries cannot apply for this visa. Under the agreement, the US government will issue 6,800 visas to citizens of the two countries annually. Of this amount, 1,400 visas are issued to Chilean citizens, and 5,400 visas are issued to citizens living in Singapore.

How to apply for US H1B1 Visa?

What are the H1B1 visa requirements?

It should be noted that this visa is issued to professionals who have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral studies. Specialists can apply for this visa as follows;

  • Mathematics,
  • Engineering,
  • Computer science,
  • Physics,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Medicine

In addition to these, people who do not have higher education but have received very specialized training in some fields can also apply for this visa. For example:

  • Agricultural managers and physiotherapists only for Chilean citizens
  • For Chilean and Singaporean citizens:
    • Disaster Relief Claims
    • Management consultants who have another degree but can prove their experience

What are the Differences between H1B and H1B1 Visas?

This visa is very similar to the H1B visa, but there are minor differences between them:

  • Employers who intend to obtain H1B1 permission do not have to apply for I-129 forms.
  • The visa holders must show that they intend to return to their home country.
  • The visa holders do not have to possess a permit to practice a job where it is applicable.
  • The visa holders are not permitted to change an H1B1 visa to Green Card.

The primary distinction between H1B and H1B1 visas is the foreign national’s intention to visit the United States. The H-1B visa allows applicants to aim for “dual intent,” which means that the foreign national will come to work temporarily in a professional job while also planning to move to the United States. However, the H1B1 visa allows applicants to establish that they do not intend to migrate to the US. As a result, while in H1B status, H1B1 recipients may not seek permanent resident status in the US.

Unlike the H-1B visa, the USCIS does not have to approve a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You can apply for an H1B1 visa at the US Embassy in your home country by submitting the required nonimmigrant visa application, a comprehensive job offer letter, a Labor Condition Application (LCA) verified by the Department of Labor, and the necessary supporting papers.

Employers may find it advantageous to consider submitting H1B1 applications for qualified individuals due to the restricted supply of H-1B visas. However, filing H1B1 visa petitions does not restrict Chilean and Singaporean residents from applying for normal H-1B visa petitions.

Nurses are among the groups that can apply for an H1B1 visa. 

What are the Eligibility Conditions of an H-1B1 Visa?

The following are the primary prerequisites for an H-1B1 visa.

  • You must be a Singaporean or a Chilean citizen.
  • You must have a post-secondary degree that includes at least four years of study in your area of expertise. Please remember that even if you do not have a post-secondary degree, you may qualify for equivalent job experience.
  • You are not permitted to be self-employed or work as an independent contractor.
  • Because your work in the United States must be temporary, you must establish nonimmigrant intent.

What are the Benefits of the US H-1B1 Visa?

The following are the advantages of the H-1B1 visa:

  • Several entries: The H-1B1 visa allows for repeated entries.
  • There is no need to file a previous petition with the USCIS. The H1B1 visa has the advantage of not requiring H1B1 beneficiaries to get approval for the H1B1 Petition from the USCIS.
  • Simple to obtain. The application process for the H-1B1 visa is relatively quick, and it may be secured in a week or less following an interview with the US Consulate.

What are the Limitations of the US H-1B1 visa?

The limitations of the US H-1B1 visa are:

  • The H-1B1 category includes numerical restrictions based on the H-1B maximum of 65,000. There are 1,400 H-1B1 visa numbers available for Chileans, whereas 5,400 are designated for Singaporeans.
  • Validity. It is only valid for one year.
  • Dual purpose doctrine. Certain protections given to H-1B and L-1 visa holders under dual-purpose are not accessible to H-1B1 visa holders.
  • Cannot apply for permanent residency. While in H-1B status, H-1B1 recipients are not permitted to seek permanent resident status in the US. This does not, however, preclude Singaporean and Chilean nationals from filing for ordinary H-1B status.

How to Apply for a US H1B1 Visa?

The application for the H1B1 visa process is very similar to the H1B visa. First, the employer must go through a few procedures, and then the employee must provide evidence.

The steps to be taken by the employer

Step 1. The employer must give a job offer to a Chilean or Singaporean citizen. The job position must have specific criteria for experience and education that the applicant must meet.

Step 2. If your employer agrees to sponsor you for an H-1B1 visa, they must acquire a Prevailing Wage decision using the DOL iCERT system or an independent survey.

Step 3. The employer must receive the Labor Condition Application (LCA) Certification, which the Department of Labor issues. This certificate confirms that:

  • The wage will be paid precisely equivalent to US employees.
  • The employee will be informed of any changes in this document.
  • The work environment complies with US labor laws.
  • The government will be informed where the work is completed.
  • The government will have information about the company, including the number of employees, job descriptions, and salaries.

LCA is an essential document you and your employer must obtain before any other steps are taken. If you come to the US and start working without an approved certificate, your work will be unlawful.

Step 4. After the LCA is accepted by the DOL (Department of Labor), the employer can provide you with supporting papers, and you can apply for your visa at the US embassy. The following items are often required:

  • Letter of offer, which includes a job description, projected dates of employment, and compensation;
  • Proof that the offered salary is the prevailing wage;
  • Proof that the employer can pay the offered compensation;
  • A letter of support for the filing outlining the position offered and the qualifications of the beneficiary
  • Evidence showing you have maintained your status in the United States, including copies of your passport, I-94, and other current and past immigration documentation; and
  • Proof of your education and experience.

Step 5. The employer must pay some visa fees. The H1B1 visa cost is similar to the H1B visa, except for the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee. Since premium processing is not defined for this visa, there will be no fee for it.

Steps to be taken by an employee 

After the DOL approves the LCA certification, you can start the application procedure. First, you must fulfill some criteria and hand in documents for the visa application process.

  • You must demonstrate your proficiencies through diplomas, certifications, and work experience letters.
  • You are not allowed to work as a freelancer or an independent contractor.
  • You must provide proof, such as property holdings, to demonstrate your intentions of returning to the home country. Contact the US embassy for more information on what document to provide.
  • You must submit a letter explaining your job offer and job description in the US.

In addition, you must pay $190 as your visa fee and the visa issuance fee. The cost of issuing a visa varies depending on the country where you are applying.

After each payment, a receipt is given that you must keep as proof. Payment receipts must be submitted to the US embassy as part of your documents. 

After the employer completes the sponsorship process, you must initiate the application process. First, you must submit your application through the US embassy in Chile and Singapore. Since the visa is only defined for citizens of Chile and Singapore, it is complicated to apply from other countries. 

Step 1. Complete the Form DS-160. This form is available online. Complete it. 

Step 2. Schedule your interview. Contact the US embassy and do it as early as possible. 

Step 3. Collect your Documents. 

  • A valid passport.
  • A letter containing your job offer and a description of your tasks.
  • The DOL-issued LCA certification.
  • Your photo was taken within the last six months.
  • The confirmation page of the DS-160 form.

You can send your documents by mail or in person. If you submit them in person, you must bring the originals, but if you send them through the mail, you can attach their copies.

Step 4. Go to the interview at the US embassy.

At the interview, the officials will ask you about all the documents you submitted. The interviewer also examines if you intend to return to your home country.

If you want to know how to immigrate to the US as Taxi Driver or a Chauffeur, read our article.

How long does it take to evaluate the provided documents and issue the visa?

Since premium processing is not defined for this visa, processing the documents and issuing this visa takes more time than the H1B. Processing time fluctuates from country to country, but it takes an average of 4 to 6 months to be processed for an H1B1 visa. Seasonal fluctuations and the workload of the embassy are essential factors in determining this period. Therefore, it is reasonable that you contact your embassy for more detailed information.

You can go to the official website of the US Department of State to find out the latest status of your application by entering information such as your:

  • application ID,
  • your location,
  • and case number

It informs you whether your request is pending or processing.

How to renew the H1B1 visa?

This visa is valid for 12 to 18 months; you can then extend it indefinitely for one year. So you can apply for a renewal of your visa for 4 to 6 months before it expires. Keep in mind that you can renew your visa as long as you are qualified to work and prove that you do not intend to reside permanently in the US. The employer must provide the LCA document, and the employee must submit his/her pay stubs to show he/she is working. There are two options for renewing this visa:

  • The employer extends the visa 4 to 6 months before the expiration of the visa.
  • The employee applies for a new visa at an embassy outside the US.

What does the H1B1 Transfer mean?

The H1B1 Transfer refers to two things:

  • An employee who works under this visa wants to change his employer.
  • An employee who is under this visa wants to be transferred to another visa.

If you want to change your employer, the new employer will need to apply for an LCA certificate from DOL and receive Form I-797A. You are not permitted to start your new job until this stage is completed. Another option is to go to an embassy outside the US and get another visa stamp with the name of a new employer and an LCA number.

If you want to transfer to another visa, you must go through the same steps that you have done to obtain a visa for the first time.

The visa holders can apply to change their visa type but are never allowed to apply for a Green Card. If you apply for a Green Card while on an H1B1 visa, you may be deported. If you have such an intention, you must first change your visa type to another visa, such as H1B, and then apply for a Green Card.

Can your dependents come to the United States under this visa?

While you are working under the H1B1 visa, your spouse and children under 21 years old are permitted to accompany you. Your dependents must obtain an H4 visa, and they are also allowed to enroll in academic studies under this visa. But they are not authorized to work while in the US. If your spouse wants to apply for an H4 visa as a dependent, a marriage certificate must be provided. If your spouse has nationality other than Chilean or Singaporean citizenship, it is best to apply together for a visa.

How to access healthcare under this visa?

The length of stay of the visa holder plays a role in determining the type of health insurance. In general, the holder of this visa has two options:

  • Short-term insurance
  • Long-term insurance

It is also recommended that people with an H4 visa purchase health insurance before entering the US because the cost of healthcare services in the US is quite high.

Do You Need a Petition Approval from Your US Employer?

No. H-1B1 visas are nonimmigrant visas that do not require a USCIS petition to be approved.

Can You Apply for a Green Card Under the US H-1B1 Status?

Because the H-1B1 Visa does not allow the idea of dual purpose, you cannot renew your H-1B1 status once you have commenced the permanent resident procedure. However, during this time, you can apply for a status change to a standard H-1B.

Let’s sum up…

In this article, we reviewed the essential aspects of a US work visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

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