At Nicolet Lawyers, our experienced immigration lawyers are available to counsel employers in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S. on bringing foreign workers into the country. One way to achieve this goal is by pursuing an H-1B1 visa, which is reserved for non-citizen employees from Chile and Singapore. This status allows them to come to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation and is very similar to the H-1B visa. There is an annual limitation on how many workers may receive an H-1B1 visa every year. Currently, that limitation is 1,400 for Chilean workers and 5,400 for Singaporean workers.Requirements for the H-1B1 Visa
In order to be eligible for an H-1B1 visa, the foreign worker must be a national of either Chile or Singapore and must be coming to the U.S. to work in a “specialty occupation.” This is a job that normally requires a Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent to perform its essential duties. Also, the worker must possess the necessary qualifications for the position.
For some jobs, it is clear that a Bachelor’s degree is required, such as attorneys, doctors, librarians, or accountants. However, many positions are not as easily identifiable as specialty occupations, such as a number of positions in the IT field like programmer analysts and software developers. Since the U.S. government may take the view that these jobs are not specialty occupations and therefore could deny the H-1B1 application, it is helpful to work with a skilled attorney who can help the employer demonstrate that a position meets the requirement.The H-1B1 Application Process
The H-1B1 Application is made using the Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. This form and its accompanying supplements and filing fee are filed with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). However, before submitting the application, the employer must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The purpose of the LCA is to inform the DOL of the terms and conditions of the job offered to the prospective H-1B1 worker, such as the title, location, and wage. After the DOL reviews and approves the LCA, the agency will send it to the employer, which must sign the LCA and include it with the Form I-129 Petition.
Along with these forms, the LCA, and the filing fee, the Form I-129 Petition must also contain proof that the foreign worker is qualified to perform the job duties. This proof is typically in the form of copies of the individual’s education and employment experience. If the worker’s education was obtained abroad, however, the employer will need to obtain and submit an educational evaluation that confirms the foreign degree is equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, the Form I-129 Petition should include a letter of support from the U.S. employer that confirms the terms and conditions of the position, provides a detailed list of the job duties, affirms that the employer will abide by the requirements of the LCA, and explains how the job position qualifies as a specialty occupation.
Just like with most temporary work visas, the H-1B1 status allows applicants to obtain derivative visas for qualifying family members, who are their spouses and any unmarried children who are under 21. However, these relatives cannot legally work in the U.S. Importantly, unlike the H-1B visa, the H-1B1 does not allow the foreign worker to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident, known as a green card holder.Discuss Your Visa Application with a Wisconsin Lawyer
Based in Wisconsin, Spiro Nicolet and the attorneys at Nicolet Lawyers are available to help foreign workers and U.S. employers devise an appropriate immigrant visa strategy that meets the needs of all parties. We are proud to find ways for businesses to benefit from foreign talent and for non-citizen workers to build their careers. Contact our office today by calling 773-562-6884 or completing our contact form online.