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The All-inclusive H1B1 Information Booklet
May 11, 2022
4 mins
Hands holding a US citizenship and immigration services envelope, along with I - 797C - white form and the flag of the USA .

In this article you will read about:

  • Requirements for H1B1 visa
  • H1B1 renewal and extension processes
  • Process of H1B1 transfer

Non-immigrants have many visa options to live and work in the US temporarily. The H1 visa is one of them. It allows foreign workers with specialized qualifications, or training to work in specialty occupation roles under a US employer.

The H1B1 visa category is one of the H1 visa categories, like the H1B, reserved for specially qualified individuals. The H1B1 is allotted for individuals who hold a Chilean or Singaporean passport. It came about as a result of the 2004 Free Trade Agreement between the USA, Chile, and Singapore governments. Under this agreement, 6,800 H1B1 visas are allotted each year for Chilean and Singaporean nationals - 1,400 for Chile and 5,400 for Singapore. To do any further reading, we recommend you to read about H1B1 Application Process, as you might be interested in reading.

Requirements to Meet for Getting H1B1 Visa

The basic requirements for the H1B1 visa category are similar to those of the H1B requirements, with a few exceptions. The requirements are:

  • You must hold a Singaporean or Chilean passport.
  • You must have received a job offer in the 'specialty occupation' category.
  • You must have a post- secondary bachelor's degree qualification, or an equivalent, showing at least four years of study.
  • You must be employed by a US-based sponsoring company. You cannot show employment as an independent contractor or as a self-employed applicant.
  • You must demonstrate your intent to return once your temporary employment comes to an end in the US.

Here are a few ways in which the H1B1 is different from the H1B:

  • The H1B1 application is not petition-based. So the I-129 Form has no role to play in this process.
  • H1B1 applicants have to prove their intent to leave the US once their period of employment comes to an end.
  • H1B1 applicants don't need to hold applicable licenses to practice their profession.
  • An H1B1 holder cannot apply for a US Green Card.

The Process of H1B Renewal

H1B1 visas are subject to shorter periods of validity - 18 months - and need to be renewed. Also, the validity of the H1B1 visa will not be allowed to extend beyond that of the approved LCA. You only have a one-year validity when you enter the US or get a COS to an H1B1 visa. One great advantage of the H1B1 is that you can renew the visa indefinitely, as long as you can prove that you will not stay in the US permanently. You can show ties to your native country or the absence of pending green card applications.

If you meet the conditions given above, you can apply for a visa renewal in two ways:

  • Your sponsor submits a renewal application through the mail, considering that renewal may take between four to six months for processing. Visa expiration dates need to be taken into account, and the renewal application should be sent in plenty of time.
  • Alternatively, you can submit the application for renewal at the US Embassy outside the US. This will have a two to three-week processing time.

How to Apply for an H1B1 Extension

Unlike the H1-B visa, the H1B1 is not a "doctrine of dual intent." So, if there is evidence of a pending green card application, the individual will not be able to apply for an extension on their H1B1 visa. This makes planning crucial if you are applying for permanent residence in the US.

With the H1B1, you can fall into a renewal pattern to never miss expiry dates and fall out of status. The visa carries a 12-18 month validity, with the power to extend it for a year as many times as you like. Since extension can take four to six months, as mentioned above, you can start the process within this time frame.

To get an extension or renewal on your H1B1 visa, you must work with your employer to prove your employment is valid. You can provide the LCA certification and payslips as evidence of your work activity. You have two options to extend or renew your visa:

  • Get your employer to apply four to six months before the expiry
  • Apply for a new H1B1 visa at an Embassy Office outside the US.

If you file for the extension in good time, you may be granted a 240-day extension on your visa validity in case it expires before the extension is approved.

Also Read: A Comprehensive Overview of the H1B1 Visa

What You Need to Know About H1B1 Transfer

An H1B1 transfer can occur under one of two circumstances:

  • Transfer to another visa category: Transferring to a new visa will be similar to applying for the first time. For example, getting a new H1B1 will involve applying for certification of a new LCA and a petition approval from the USCIS. This has to be done before filing other documents.
  • While on the H1B1, you can change to any other visa, but applying for a Green Card is not allowed. In fact, any evidence of a pending green card application while you are on an H1B1 visa could jeopardize your stay in the US. This could even lead to deportation.
  • Change of employer while on an H1B1 visa: Your new employer will have to apply with a new LCA and an I-797A form. You can only start working in the new position once your transfer has been approved. Alternatively, you could get a new H1B1 stamped into your passport under the new employer's name and LCA number at a US embassy outside the country.

In conclusion

We have had a brief discussion about the H1B1 visa in this article, including the renewal, extension, and transfer of the H1B1. This visa category is a great option for citizens of Chile and Singapore as it foregoes the H1B cap and the lottery, providing for quick processing and employee onboarding.

If you are looking for a wealthy of information on anything related to H1B1 visa, come to Techfetch H1B. Here, you can find all the details for your purpose!

**Disclaimer: Immigration laws and policies are subject to change. For the latest updates, refer to the USCIS website.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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