The H-1B1 non-immigrant visa is for citizens of Chile or Singapore, who are offered U.S. employment in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires a Bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience, in a specific field.
General Qualifications of an H-1B1 Specialty Occupation Worker
To qualify for H-1B1 classification, the individual must:
- Demonstrate citizenship of Chile or Singapore; AND
- Hold a U.S. Bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;
- Hold a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation;
- Hold an unrestricted U.S. state license, registration, or certification which authorizes full practice of the specialty occupation; OR
- Possess education and/or progressively responsible experience in the specialty occupation that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, and recognition as an expert by authorities in the same specialty occupation.
H-1B1 Employer Requirements
Employers of H-1B1 workers must be willing to submit a labor condition application to the Department of Labor (DOL) confirming that there is no strike, lockout, or work stoppage in the specialty occupation at the place of employment. On the labor condition application, the employer must also promise to:
- Pay H-1B1 workers at least the local prevailing wage or the wage paid to similarly qualified and employed workers, whichever is higher.
- Pay for nonproductive time unless the time off was requested by the H-1B1 worker for personal reasons, and is in addition to the normal vacation, personal and sick time allotted by the employer.
- Offer H-1B1 workers benefits on the same basis as those offered to U.S. workers.
- Provide working conditions for H-1B1 workers which will not adversely affect the conditions of other workers.
- Provide notice to the union, or directly to its workers, of the H-1B1 employment (including the offered salary).
- Provide the H-1B1 worker with a copy of the labor condition application.
Terms and Conditions of H-1B1 Status
An H-1B1 worker may only work for the employer, and in the position, for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted. H-1B1 status in the U.S. may be granted for up to one year at a time. Unlike the H-1B category, there is no limit to the number of extensions an H-1B1 worker may be granted.
The H-1B1 employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of the H-1B1 worker’s return transportation to his or her home country or last country of residence, if the employer terminates the H-1B1 worker’s employment before the end of the authorized period of H-1B1 status. The employer is not responsible for the costs of the return transportation if the H-1B1 worker voluntarily resigns, or if the H-1B1 worker chooses to remain in the U.S., rather than return home.
Family of H-1B1 Specialty Occupation Workers
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the derivative H-4 nonimmigrant category. This category does not provide work authorization for spouses.