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, and H3. The H1B1 visa means a temporary work visa for professionals who are citizens of Chile and Singapore. In this article, the differences between the H1B1 and H1B visa, how to apply for the H1B1, the documents that must be provided by the employer and the employee, and other details will be discussed.
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 by this visa. People who live in Chile and Singapore but do not have passports of 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 these, 1,400 visas are issued to Chilean citizens, and 5,400 visas are issued to citizens living in Singapore.
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 in the fields of mathematics, engineering, computer science, physics, biotechnology, and medicine can apply for this visa. 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
This visa is very similar to the H1B visa, but there are minor differences between them:
- Employers who intend to obtain the H1B1 permission do not have to apply for I-129 forms.
- The visa holders must show that they intend to return 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.
How to apply for this visa?
The application of the H1B1 visa process is very similar to the H1B visa. First, the employer must go through the steps, and then the employee must provide evidence. The steps to be taken by the employer are:
The employer must register the documents, afterward pay different fees to sponsor applicants for this visa.
1. First, a job offer must be given to a Chilean or Singaporean citizen. The job position must have specific criteria in terms of experience and education that the applicant must meet them.
2. The employer must receive the Labor Condition Application (LCA) Certification, which is issued by the Department of Labor.
This certificate confirms that:
- Prevailing wage will be paid precisely equivalent to non-foreign employees
- Any changes in this document will be notified to the employee
- The work environment complies with US labor laws
- The government will be informed where the work is being completed
- The government will have information about the company, including the number of employees, job descriptions and income
The LCA is an essential document that the employer and employee must obtain it before any other steps are taken. If an employee comes to the US and starts working without an approved certificate, his/her work will be unlawful.
3. As mentioned earlier, 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.
4. The employer must provide documents showing that the employee is a Chilean or Singaporean citizen. Tax information and payroll to the state employees should also be provided.
Steps to be taken by an employee are:
After the DOL approves the LCA certification, the employee can initiate the application procedure. Applicants for the visa must pay attention to the following:
- The applicants must demonstrate their proficiencies through diplomas, certifications, and work experience letters.
- The applicants are not allowed to work as a freelancer or independent contractor.
- The Applicants must provide proof such as property holdings to demonstrate their intention about returning the home country. You should contact the US embassy in your home country for more information on what document should be provided to prove such an intention.
- Applicants must submit a letter explaining their job offer and job description in the US.
The H1B1 visa cost that must be paid by the applicants are:
- The visa application fee for all types of H visas is $190.
- The applicant has to pay 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 because it proves that you have completed the payment. Payment receipts must be submitted to the US embassy as part of your documents.
Steps to be taken by an employer are:
After the employer completed the sponsorship process, the employee must initiate the application process.
Applicants must submit their 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. Filling out the DS-160 form is one of the first essential steps an applicant must take. This form is available online. After that, you have to schedule your interview as early as possible. During the interview, the consular officer will inquire about the documents you have submitted. The interviewer also tries to examine if you intend to return your home country.
In addition to the DS-160 form, the other materials that the applicant must provide are:
- A valid passport
- A letter containing your job offer and a description of the tasks you will have
- The LCA certification which is issued by DOL
- A photo that has been taken within the last six months
- Confirmation page of the DS-160 form
You can send your documents by courier or in person. If you submit them in person, you must bring the originals, but if you send them through courier, you can attach their copies.
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 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 on this page. This website 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, 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 to renew 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 the Form I-797A. You are not permitted to start your new job until this stage is completed. Another option is going to an embassy outside the US and get another visa stamp with the name of a new employer and 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.
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.