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#8: You are a Citizen of Singapore

If you are a Citizen of Singapore, you may be able to qualify for the H-1B1 visa which is a kind of special "Singaporean H-1B". Under current law, 5,400 H-1B1s are set aside each year for nationals of Singapore, under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. INA 214(g)(8)(A)(i).

Is USCIS Premium Processing Available for H1B1 (for Singaporeans) ?

As of the writing of this note (October 19, 2007), H1B1 (for Singaporeans) is not one of the categories of immigration petitions/applications for which USCIS Premium Processing is available. 

What are the special LICENSING requirements for H-1B1 applicants (for Singaporeans)?

For admission into the United States in a specialty occupation, an individual must meet the academic and occupational requirements. While the requirements for classification as an H-1B include licensure, requirements for classification as an H-1B1 nonimmigrant professional do not include licensure. Licensure to practice a given profession in the United States is a post-entry requirement subject to enforcement by the appropriate state or other sub-federal authority. Proof of licensure to practice in a given profession in the United States may be offered along with a job offer letter, or other documentation in support of an application for an H-1B1 visa.

What is the maximum validity for H-1B1 visas (for Singaporeans)?

H-1B1 visas can be valid for a maximum of 18 months. Extensions and renewals are allowed.

What must spouses and children of H1B1 applicants show to establish a qualifying relationship with the H1B1 applicant?

Spouses and children must present a copy of their marriage certificate or birth certificate, respectively.

Can an applicant for an H-1B1 visa (for Singaporeans) be self-employed or an independent contractor?

No. An applicant for an H-1B1 visa (for Singaporeans) can NOT be self-employed or an independent contractor.

Do the special work experience in lieu of college degree equivalency rules apply for H-1B1s for Singaporeans?

Yes. The "3 years of work experience for every 1 year of college" formula ("3 for 1") is recognized for H-1B1 (for Singaporeans); however, the individual must demonstrate progressively responsible experience and a level of knowledge sufficient to show 'theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.' Also, depending on the position, the individual may also have to show more than '3 for 1' if the industry standard for the position would require an advanced degree (i.e. law degree, masters degree, etc).

Are Singapore Permanent Residents eligible for H1B1 visas as principal applicants?

No. Only Singaporean citizens are eligible as principal applicants. Note, however, that Singapore Permanent Residents who are the spouse or child of a qualified Singaporean H1B1 applicant may be eligible for an H-4 visa as a dependent family member.

Can a Singaporean national who is in the U.S. apply to change status to H-1B1 while in the U.S.?

Yes. A national of Singapore, currently admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant in a category eligible to change nonimmigrant status, may apply to change to H-1B1 nonimmigrant status. Note that the applicant must be in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant category which is eligible to change nonimmigrant status, of course.

How did the H-1B1 visa (for Singaporeans) come about?

The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 1, 2004, created a new class of non-immigrant work visa for Singaporean citizens: the H1B1.

What are the main requirements for an H-1B1 visa (for Singaporeans)?

The main requirements for an H-1B1 visa (for Singaporeans) are as follows:

Are Singaporeans still eligible to apply for traditional H-1b visas?

Yes. Singaporeans are still eligible to apply for traditional H-1b visas. Singaporeans are NOT required to apply for H-1B1. Each individual Singaporean can decide which visa (traditional H-1b or H-1B1) is best for his or her personal situation.

H-1B1 Special "Singaporean H-1B"

The H-1B1 is a special visa for citizens of Singapore only. It is similar to an H-1B visa. Its key advantage is that it allows Singaporean citizens to avoid the H-1B quota which often runs out quickly.

Will YouTube Sponsor H-1B Workers after its acquisition by Google?

Many foreign programmers, and other professionals, who would like to work for YouTube and Google wonder whether YouTube and Google sponsor individuals for H-1B visas. As you can see from the following chart, Google does indeed sponsor H-1B workers. Therefore, after the acquisition of YouTube by Google, Google will likely continue to sponsor individuals for H-1B visas provided that the H-1B quota, established by the U.S. government, has not run out.

DHS Announces that 24 of the 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries Have Met e-Passport Requirements

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 26, 2006 that 24 of the 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries have met the October 26, 2006 deadline by satisfying the requirement for issuing e-Passports. These requirements mandate that passports contain a contactless chip with the passport holder's biographic information and a biometric identifier (e.g., a digital photograph of the holder). DHS announced in July 2005, that passports issued by VWP countries on or after October 26, 2006, must comply with these requirements in order to be valid for entry into the United States without a visa, i.e., under the visa waiver program.

What are the exceptions to having a post-secondary degree or its equivalent to qualify for an H-1B1 (for Singaporeans)?

The H-1B1 non-immigrant classification (for Singaporeans) is available to certain otherwise admissible business persons who do not possess a post-secondary degree or its equivalent, but who will engage in the professions of Disaster Relief Claims Adjusters, or certain Management Consultants who hold a degree in other than their specialty area who present alternative documentation reflecting experience in the specialty area.

Note you may also qualify under the rules for equivalent work experience.


When should the Spouses and children of H1B1 visa applicants, who are not Singaporean, apply for a derivative visa?

Spouses and children of H visa applicants who are not Singaporean are strongly encouraged to apply for their visas at the same time as the principal applicant, regardless of whether they have firm plans to travel to the United States. If the H1B1 visa holder is not present for the application of their non-Singaporean spouse and children, the applicants may be asked to apply in their home country, where their marriage and birth documents can be properly verified.

Can an applicant for an H1B1 visa (for Singaporeans) intend to immigrate to the U.S. while applying for an H1B1 visa?

As with many other types of non-immigrant visas, to qualify for the H1B1 one must demonstrate that one does not intend to immigrate to the United States. Every applicant’s situation is different, so how individual applicants demonstrate this—including which documents are submitted—will vary greatly from person to person.

Are extensions and renewals allowed for H-1B1 visas (for Singaporeans)?

Yes. Extensions and renewals are allowed for H-1B1 visas.

Do H1B1 visas (for Singaporeans) allow for multiple-entry?

Yes. H-1B1 visas are multiple-entry.

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Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for H1B Visa employers.

"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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