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By Tanisha Poddar

The H-1B1 visa is a variant of the H-1B visa in the United States for nationals of Singapore and Chile that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ Singapore and Chile workers in their specialized field of job.  The version for Singapore is called the H-1B1-Singapore and the version for Chile is called the H-1B1-Chile. These categories were introduced with the Singapore–United States Free Trade Agreement and Chile–United States Free Trade Agreement respectively which became active on January 1, 2004. The visas are also called FTA visas because they were provided for through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

This Visa is a Lottery based visa which is the first and greatest drawback as there is an annual limit on how many petitions are approved each year. While other visas also have a limit, they are not as easy to obtain and so that limit is rarely reached. The H-1B visa on the other hand receives almost three times the amount of petitions that is allotted.

Of the 65000 visas allocated to the capped H-1B visa program, a total of 6800 are reserved for the use for the H-1B1: 1400 for Chile and 5400 for Singapore. All approved applications for H-1B1 classification, including those that involve issuance and change of status are counted towards these limits.

In spite of having jobs and company offer to stay with the persons, they have to go through the lottery system out of which maximum petitions get rejected due to limited quotas.

This agreement is a legally binding agreement which enables to increase trade of goods and services with each other improving relationships and development and also encourages the movement of people in order to get job in their specialized fields enhancing the growth of economy of the countries.

H1B1 visa has also eliminated the barriers of movement of people across their borders.

If anyone want to visit the US for a pre-arranged professional employment, he is required to have the H1B visa. In order to be eligible for this visa type, he must have a bachelor’s or higher degree in the field in which he is looking for a job.

The immigration authorities will scrutinize his application for the H1B visa and check whether his job falls under the category of a specialty occupation and whether he have the skills, educational qualification, and experience to do the job to the best of his abilities.

Moreover, his employer must submit a labor condition application at the Department of Labor, clearly mentioning all the terms and conditions of the employment contract with him. The H1B visa can be extended for up to 3 years and he can apply for a green card while in the US on the H1B visa.

On the other hand, the H1B1 visa category is a result of the Free Trade Agreements. Only the citizens of Chile and Singapore can apply for the H1B1 visa. The visa lets people work temporarily in the US under certain conditions:

·       Agricultural managers and physical therapists (for Chilean workers)

·       Management consultants and disaster relief claims adjusters (for Chilean or Singaporean workers).

In order to get an H1B1 visa, people need to have a job offer from an employer in the US. However, your employer is not required to submit the Form I-129 and the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Moreover, people themselves are not required to get a Notice of Approval and Form I-797 prior to filing the visa application.

However, person must file an Application for Foreign Labor Certification with the Department of Labor before submitting your visa application. The H1B1 visa can be extended for up to 1 year; however, person cannot apply for green card. Also, the dependents of H1B1 visa holder can live in the US and study; however, they cannot work.

 The H-1B1 visa is a non-immigrant intent visa, and applicants for the visa must clearly demonstrate such intent by demonstrating the following three things:

1.    has a residence abroad,

2.    has no immediate intention of abandoning that residence, and

3.    Intends to depart the U.S. upon the termination of the visa.

Admission on an H-1B1 visa is for one year, but the status can be renewed in yearly increments. Unlike the H-1B visa, there is no six-year limit. However, the associated Labor Condition Application is valid for only two years, so after every two years a new LCA must be filed and used to support the petition.

The spouses of H-1B1 status holders are eligible for the H-4 visa and associated status, same as for the spouses of H-1B status holders.

As with the H-1B visa, it is necessary that there be a clear employer-employee relationship between the petitioning employer and the applicant. In particular, the H-1B1 visa applicant cannot be self-employed or an independent contractor.

Since the Chile and Singapore citizens are getting the support from US Government then definitely something should be done in support of Indians living in US by the Indian government.

The growth momentum of Indian students to the US slowed this year due to the stricter policies related to optional practical training (OPT) and H1B visas. The poor prospects of finding work during and after studies makes the destination less attractive.

When students from US are sent back to India, India should open the door of job opportunities. Everything should be served on platter for these applicants.

India can have a say with other countries who are in the same shoes for Redefined Lottery System where petitions should stop being picked randomly, may end up by selecting for petitioners with the highest degrees, salaries. This would eliminate chances for anyone and everyone trying their luck in the H1-B cap lottery and only a selected few will make it to the top of the list.

And moreover India should not let go its own resources of Human Capital as India itself is aspiring to be a developed country from developing. 

And to support Indian students in US, India should be able to tie healthy relations with the US government in order to make available separate quotas for Indians.

“More support, more opportunities results more INDIANS”

“It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it's not, it's a visa, and it runs out fast.”
Julie Burchill

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