The H-1B1 visa is similar to the more well-known H-1B visa. However, the H-1B1 is reserved for specialty occupation professionals from Chile and Singapore and it is NOT a dual-intent visa. The H-1B1 is a non-immigrant visa. Generally, the holder of an H-1B1 visa is not eligible to apply for permanent residence status, however, in some scenarios, and with proper timing, an H-1B1 can initiate the PERM labor certification process. An H-1B1 can also later marry a US citizen and obtain a green card.
H-1B1 visas are limited to 1,400 nationals of Chile and 5,400 nationals of Singapore. The application and approval process is easier and quicker. Once approved, the H-1B1 visa can be renewed multiple times. An H-1B1 visa is valid for 18 months. Since the H-1B1 visa is for workers, the US Department of Labor administers the program. See Fact Sheet here.
Eligibility for Renewal
Essentially, to be eligible for renewal of an H-1B1 visa, the same eligibility requirements must be met for the original issuance. These are:
- Being a citizen of Chile or Singapore
- Having a job offer from a qualified and eligible US employer -- self-employed persons or independent contractors are not eligible
- The employer must have a proper and valid certification from the Department of Labor
- The employment position in question must meet the definition of a "specialty occupation" -- usually these must be scientific or professional occupations
- Have a valid Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor
- Having obtained at least university-equivalent bachelor’s degree requiring at least four years of study AND
- The employment position must be temporary -- part of the "non-immigrant intent" aspect of the H-1B1 visa
Renewal is typically sought by the employer about four to six months before the visa expires by filing Form I-129 and checking the box that indicates that the employer is seeking to extend the status of a nonimmigrant classification that is based on the relevant Chile/Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Since it takes about four to six months to process and approve a renewal request, the process should be started long enough for approval to be granted before the visa expires.
Aside from the eligibility requirements listed above, the H-1B1 visa holder must be in-country and still working for the employer, or have a job offer with a United States employer.
In addition, when renewal is sought, there is a renewed focus on the question of the H-1B1 holder's "non-immigrant intent." So, it may be important for the renewal applicant to provide evidence that he or she has no intent to immigrate. To do this, it can be helpful to show that the applicant continues to be a resident and citizen of Chile or Singapore. Examples of such proof include proof of keeping a residence, financial accounts and other property in Chile or Singapore. Keeping such property in Chile or Singapore demonstrates the "non-immigrant intent."
Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today
For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.