Nationals of Chile or Singapore have a visa option that is not available to nationals of other countries: the H-1B1 visa. Like the E-1 and E-2 visas, the H-1B1 is a visa based on a treaty these countries have with the United States. And like the E-1 and E-2 visas, the H-1B1 is a great option for nationals of Chile or Singapore who want to live and work in the United States. Sometimes thought of as the “fast-track H-1B” visa, the H-1B1 visa is typically preferred to the H-1B for nationals of these two countries. In this post we will discuss what the H-1B1 visa is, what benefits it provides, and who might consider it.
Who can apply for an H-1B1 visa?
The H-1B1 is only available to those who are citizens of either Chile or Singapore, and who will enter the U.S. in order to work in a “specialty occupation.” The definition of a “specialty occupation” is the same as it is in the context of the H-1B visa, and the requirements for the H-1B visa (found here) largely apply to the H-1B1 visa.
A “specialty occupation” is generally one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge, and that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty. Note, however, that certain occupations do allow for alternative credentials, including Chileans and Singaporeans who are management consultants or disaster relief claims adjusters, or Chileans who are agricultural managers or physical therapists.
Why would a national of Chile or Singapore consider an H-1B1 instead of an H-1B visa?
One significant advantage of the H-1B1 visa over the H-1B is that, unlike the H-1B visa, there is no lottery that applies to the H-1B1 visa. Also, unlike the H-1B, there is no 6-year limit that applies to the H-1B1.
How does someone apply for an H-1B1 visa?
As with the H-1B visa, the H-1B1 application does require that a Labor Condition Application (LCA) be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. However, unlike with the H-1B, the applicant has the option of applying for the H-1B1 directly at the consulate, without submitting a Form I-129 with USCIS.
Applicants who are not applying directly with a consulate but are instead applying within the U.S. (including those who are filing a change of status to H-1B1, extending their H-1B1 status, or applying to change from one H-1B1 employer to another) must file an I-129 with USCIS.
Does the H-1B1 visa allow for “dual intent”?
No. Unlike the H-1B visa, which permits the visa holder to enter the U.S. with the intention to adjust status to a green card, the H-1B1 visa requires that the applicant must not intend to abandon their home country of residence. For more information about dual intent, please see our earlier post here.
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