Can Americans get jobs in Singapore

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Work visa

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frequently asked Questions

overview

If you wish to work temporarily in the United States as a non-immigrant under US immigration law, you will need a specific visa, depending on the type of job you wish to do. Most temporary agency categories require your prospective employer or agent to file a petition, which must then be approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States before you can apply for a work visa.

All applicants for H, L, O, P, and Q visas must have a USCIS approved petition. This petition, Form I-129, must first be approved before you can apply for a work visa at a US embassy or consulate. If your petition is approved, your employer or agent will receive a Notice of Action on Form I-797 notifying you that your petition has been approved. During your interview, the consular officer will inform you that your petition has been approved by the Department of State's Petition Information Management Service (PIMS).

You will need to bring your I-129 receipt number to your U.S. embassy / consulate interview to provide evidence of approval of your petition. Please note that if you do not qualify for a visa under US Immigration Act, approval of a petition does not automatically result in the issuance of a visa.

Visa descriptions and requirements

H-1B (special professions)

An H-1B visa is required if you are entering the United States to perform services in a pre-arranged profession. In order to qualify for such a visa, you need a university degree (Bachelor or higher or equivalent) in the special occupation in which you are looking for work. USCIS will then determine whether your employment qualifies as a specialty and whether you are sufficiently qualified to provide these services. Your employer is required to file a Labor Condition Application with the US Department of Labor that sets out the terms of your employment contract.

H1-B1 Agreement-based Temporary Work Visas

Free trade agreements signed with Chile and Singapore allow qualified Chilean and Singapore citizens, under certain circumstances, to work in the United States on a temporary basis. Only Chilean citizens and Singapore citizens have the priority rightto submit applications for this, even if their spouses and children may be of other nationalities.

Applicants for an H-1B1 visa should already have a job offer for their respective job from an employer in the United States, but the employer does not need to fill out Application Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and neither does the applicant need to complete Form I-797 Notice of Approval received before submitting the visa application. However, before applying for a visa, the applicant must apply to the Department of Labor to issue a Foreign Labor Certification. For more information on the H-1B1 visa, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/temporary-worker-visas.html

H-2A (seasonal agricultural workers)

An H-2A visa allows employers in the United States of America to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs that are unavailable from the United States. An H-2A nonimmigrant classification allows you to perform or offer agricultural work or services on a temporary basis in the United States. To do this, an employer in the United States (or a United States Agricultural Producer Association named as a Joint Employer) must submit Form I-129 (Employee Nonimmigrant Visa Application) for you.

H-2B visas (skilled and unskilled workers)

This visa is required if you are entering the United States to do any job that is temporary or seasonal and for which there is a labor shortage in the United States. To do this, your employer must first obtain Department of Labor certification confirming that there is a shortage of workers in the United States who are eligible for the type of employment on which your petition is based.

H-3 (interns)

An H-3 visa is required if you are entering the United States to receive professional training from an employer for a maximum of two years in any field other than postgraduate education. You can be paid for this training and hands-on work is allowed. This training may not be used for employment in production and may not be available in your home country.

H-4 (relatives)

If you yourself hold a valid H visa, it is possible for your spouse or unmarried children (under 21 years of age) to obtain an H-4 visa to accompany you on your trip to the United States of America . However, they are not allowed to work in the United States of America.

L-1 (internal company relocation of employees)

An L-1 visa is required if you are an employee of an international company and you are temporarily transferred to a parent, affiliate or subsidiary in the United States. This can either be an organization in the United States of America or abroad. To qualify for an L-1 visa, you must hold a senior or managerial position, or have specialized knowledge, or be promoted to one of these levels within the company in the United States of America not necessarily in the same position as you previously held. In addition, you must have been employed by the international company for at least one continuous year outside of the United States for the three years prior to applying for your visa. You will not be eligible to apply for an L-1 visa until your United States company or an affiliate has received an approved petition from USCIS, either on a flat-rate or individual basis.

L-2 (relatives)

If you yourself hold a valid L visa, your spouse or unmarried children (under 21 years of age) can obtain this derivative visa. Due to a recent change in the law, your spouse is also entitled to apply for a work permit. To do this, your spouse must enter the United States on their own L-2 visa, then submit the completed Form I-765 (available from USCIS) and pay the applicable application fee. However, your children are not eligible to work in the United States.

O

O visas are issued to individuals who have exceptional skills in the fields of science, art, education, business or sport, or who have achieved exceptional performance in the fields of film and television; this type of visa can also be issued to assistants of such persons.

P (artist, entertainer)

P visas are issued to specific athletes, entertainers, and artists, and their assistants, who travel to the United States for the purpose of a performance.

Q

A Q visa is required if you are entering the United States of America to participate in an international cultural exchange program for the purpose of practical training, employment, or teaching the history, culture and tradition of your home country. To do this, a petition must be filed for you by the sponsor of the program and approved by USCIS.

Application deadlines

The US embassy or consulate can process your application for H, L, O, P or Q visas up to 90 days before the start of your employment, which is recorded on your I-797. Note, however, that US government regulations allow you to enter the United States no earlier than 10 days prior to the approved period noted on your I-797.

Application elements

When applying for an H, L, O, P or Q visa, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • A nonimmigrant visa application form (DS-160). Visit the DS-160 website for more information on DS-160.
  • A valid passport for entry into the United States of America with a period of validity of at least six months after the end of your planned stay in the United States (except in the case of exceptions by country-specific agreements). If there are more than one person in your passport, each individual who wants to apply for a visa must still submit a separate application.
  • A 5 x 5 cm photo that was taken in the past six months. This website contains more information on the appropriate format for photos.
  • Proof of payment of the US $ 190 nonimmigrant visa application processing fee in your local currency. This website contains more information on how to pay this fee. If a visa is issued, an additional "Reciprocity Fee" may be due in some cases, depending on your nationality. You can find out if you are required to pay this fee, and if so, how much, on the Department of State website.
  • If you are an L-1 applicant and are on a blanket petition, you must pay the fraud prevention and detection fee. (More information here.)
  • The receipt number noted on your approved I-129 petition. A copy of the I-797 is not required for the interview.

Aside from these application elements, you will also need to provide an interview appointment letter confirming that you made the appointment through this service. You are also allowed to provide any supporting documents that you think contain useful information for the consular officer.

Procedure for submitting an application

Step 1

Complete the Electronic Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form (DS-160).

 

step 2

Pay the application fee.

step 3

Make your appointment on this website. To do this, you need the following information:

  • Your passport number
  • Your CGI reference number. If you need help locating this number, click here.
  • The ten digit (10) barcode on the DS-160 confirmation page
Step 4

Go to the embassy or consulate at the time of your interview. You must bring a hard copy of your appointment confirmation letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, a photo taken in the last six months, and your current and all previous passports. Any application that is missing one or more of these elements will be rejected.

Supporting documents

Aside from these application elements, you will also need to provide an interview appointment letter confirming that you made the appointment through this service. You are also allowed to provide any supporting documents that you think contain useful information for the consular officer.

Danger: Under no circumstances should you submit false documents. In the event of fraud or deception, you may be permanently denied a visa. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your documents, you have the option of submitting them to the US embassy or consulate in a sealed envelope. The US embassy or consulate will not disclose your information to third parties and will respect the confidentiality of the information.

Consular officers evaluate each application on a case-by-case basis and consider professional, social, cultural and many other factors in making your decision. Consular officers can examine your specific intentions, family situation, and long-term plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and all legally permitted considerations are applied to it.

Relatives

Your loved ones must bring all the documents required for nonimmigrant visas, plus:

  • An original of the marriage certificate (for your spouse) and / or birth certificate (for unmarried children under 21), if applicable
  • A letter from your employer confirming your continued employment

additional Information

For more information on H, L, O, P, and Q visas, visit the Department of State's Temporary Workers website.