Special Considerations for Singaporean US Visa Applicants
Why are Singaporean US Visa Applicants Unique?
Owing to a variety of agreements between Singapore and the United States, Singaporean Nationals benefit from a number of advantages:
- Visa Free Entry. The ability to enter the United States as a temporary visitor without a visa (note that denial of a business or other visa application will result in an applicant being no longer eligible for visa free entry, see below).
- H1B1 Visa. Only Singaporean Nationals are eligible for the H1B1 Visa. This visa allows the principal beneficiary to live and work in the United States with his or her spouse and children.
- E-1 and E-2 Visas. Nationals of Singapore are eligible for both E-1 and E-2 visas.
- Investment Visas. In our
Warning re Visa Applications and Visa Free Entry
Unfortunatley several of our Singaporean clients previously applied for business and other visas using other firms and were denied.
Once a Singapore National is denied a US visa he or she is no longer able to enter the United States on the visa waiver program and must apply for a B1/B2 visitor’s visa in order to come to the United States.
Sinapore Nationals who have applied for a B1/B2 visitor’s visa after having been denied an E-2 or other visa have been denied their B1/B2 visitors visa, leaving them unable to enter the United States.
While we have never had a visa application that our firm has initially prepared denied we always counsel Singapore clients to consider applying for a B1/B2 visitors visa prior to appkying for other visa types, that way if an E-2 or other visa is denied the client has a pre-exisiting B1/B2 visa with which they can make a lawful visit to the United States. This is not an easy decision however and we spend significant time counselling clients on this issue.
Singapore: Our Experience
- Our goal is to be the leading US immigration firm serving the Singapore market. To us this means being recognized as having the strongest record of success together with the very best levels of client service. We are proud that our clients view us as their “US Immigration law firm of choice” and recognize our client care program as “distinct and unique”.
- Davies & Associates is privileged to serve a number of business visa and other clients resident in Singapore.
- To date no visa our firm has initially prepared on a first-submission has been denied.*
- Our firm increasingly interacts with the US consulate in Singapore on behalf of our clients and appears with our clients “on-the-ground” at the US Consulate in Singapore.
Singapore forms a key hub in the ability of our firm to deliver US immigration services in Asia. Many of our Singapore-based clients have businesses in other parts of Asia and we are used to coordinating strategies across multiple jurisdictions.
Is a Business Plan Really Important?
For Singapore Nationals applying for certain visa types a business plan can be completely critical. Our experience with the US consulate in Singapore is that properly prepared business plans are essential in E-2, E-1, certain L-1 and EB-5 visa cases.
A guide to business plan preparation can be found be clicking on this link.
L-1 Visas and Singapore Businesses
A number of employees from a variety of Asian countries are employed by Singaporean corporations in Singapore. Our firm is experienced with assisting corporations moving employees to the United States using both the L-1A and L1-B visas.
Permanent Residency and Immigrant Visas in The United States
Our firm represents clients from across the region in their pursuit of EB-5 based investor immigrant visas, permanent residency based on employment and outstanding qualifications as well as family-based petitions.
Meeting our Firm in Singapore
We are the firm of choice for many Singapore-based clients. The market position as a leading provider of US immigration services in Singapore brings our experienced US immigration lawyers from New York and California to Singapore in order to both meet with clients and to work with the US consulate in Singapore. Given advanced notice we very much welcome opportunities to meet our Singapore-based clients both in Singapore and our firm’s other locations.
*In August 2013 we were asked to re-file an E-2 visa for a Singapore National. This client had already applied for an E-2 visa using another law firm and the E-2 visa had been denied. We believe that this application was denied owing to an extremely weak overall presentation and business plan. This visa re-application is still the subject of our continuing representation but has yet to be approved and remains the only issue our firm has had with the approval of a visa of any kind in fifteen years.