What is an H-1B1 visa?
The H-1B1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that allows foreign professionals from Chile and Singapore to work temporarily in the U.S.
It is a specific subtype of the H-1B visa and is designed for individuals in specialty occupations.
The H-1B1 visa is available only to citizens of Chile and Singapore as part of free trade agreements between these countries and the U.S.
Similar to the H-1B visa, the H-1B1 visa requires the applicant to have a job offer from a U.S. employer in a specialty occupation that typically requires a higher education degree.
H-1B1 visa issuance is limited to 1,400 nationals of Chile and 5,400 nationals of Singapore per year.
H-1B1 visa requirements
The H-1B1 visa has specific requirements tailored for citizens of Chile and Singapore:
- Citizenship: The applicant must be a citizen of Chile or Singapore
- Job Offer: The individual must have a job offer from a U.S. employer in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty.
- Educational Qualification:
- Completion of a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty or related field; OR
- Education, training, or experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree; OR
- Being a Chilean national engaged in the professions of:
- Being a Singaporean national engaged in the professions of disaster relief claims adjusted
- Management consultants holding a degree in a field other than their specialty may present documentation demonstrating experience in the specialty area
- Labor Condition Application (LCA): The employer must first obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA, Form ETA-9035E) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA attests that the employer will pay the H-1B1 worker the prevailing wage for the occupation in the intended work location.
- Temporary Intent: The H-1B1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning the applicant must have the intention to stay in the U.S. temporarily and return to their home country when the authorized period of stay expires.
H-1B1 visa checklist of documents
The following documents must be submitted with H-1B1 visa application (submit photocopies only):
|Certified LCA (Labor Condition Application)
|Information about the U.S. employer
|Beneficiary’s educational credentials
|Proof of beneficiary’s current nonimmigrant status (if applicable)
|Only if the beneficiary is currently in the US:
|Proof of nationality
|Proof of relationship (if applicable)
|If sponsoring beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children under 21:
H-1B1 visa filing fees
H1B1 visa filing fee is $205 per applicant.
Visa filing fees are subject to change, check the most recent fees on the US Department of State website (“Petition based visa categories”).
How to apply for an H-1B1 visa
Applying for an H-1B1 visa involves the following steps:
Step 1. Job Offer:
- Secure a job offer from a U.S. employer in a specialty occupation. The position must meet the criteria of a specialty occupation, and the applicant should possess the required educational qualifications.
Step 2. Labor Condition Application (LCA):
- The employer must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA, Form ETA-9035E) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA certifies that the employer will pay the H-1B1 worker the prevailing wage for the occupation in the intended work location.
Step 3. Visa Application:
- The beneficiary (Chilean or Singaporean national) applies for the H-1B1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country
- Attend interview:
- Attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, the consular officer will assess the applicant’s eligibility and verify the supporting documentation.
- Visa Issuance:
- If approved, the consular officer will issue the H-1B1 visa, typically stamped in the applicant’s passport, allowing them to travel to the U.S.
Step 4. Entry to the U.S.:
- Upon arrival in the U.S., the H-1B1 visa holder can start working for the sponsoring employer in the approved specialty occupation
Step 5: Status or Visa Extension:
- Before the expiration date of current H-1B1 status, apply for extension of status:
- File Form I-129 with USCIS; or
- Apply for an H-1B1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the beneficiary’s home country
What is the difference between H-1B and H-1B1 visas?
The H-1B and H-1B1 visas are both nonimmigrant visa categories that allow foreign nationals to work temporarily in the U.S., but there are key differences between them:
- H-1B Visa: Available to individuals from various countries around the world
- H-1B1 Visa: Specifically designed for citizens of Chile and Singapore
- H-1B Visa: The U.S. employer files a petition (Form I-129) with supporting documentation, and the process is managed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- H-1B1 Visa: The U.S. employer is not required to file Form I-129 with USCIS. Instead, the applicant may apply directly to the U.S. consulate abroad for H-1B1 visa
Duration of Stay:
- H-1B Visa: Initial period of up to 3 years, with the possibility of extension up to 6 years. Extensions beyond the 6-year limit may be possible in certain circumstances.
- H-1B1 Visa: Initially granted for up to 1 year, with the option to renew in one-year increments.
- H-1B Visa is a dual intent visa
- H-1B1 is not a dual intent visa
Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee:
- H-1B Visa: employers must pay the $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee
- H-1B1 Visa: employers are exempt from paying the $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee
- H-1B Visa: applicants must possess full state licensure, if that is required for practice in the state
- H-1B1 Visa: applicants are not required to possess a professional license prior to obtaining a visa. Applicants are permitted to comply with licensing requirements after entering the US on H-1B1 visa
H-1B1 visa benefits
The H-1B1 visa offers several benefits for eligible individuals from Chile and Singapore who wish to work temporarily in the U.S.
H-1B1 visa benefits include:
- Renewable Stay: While the initial period of stay is granted for up to 1 year, the H-1B1 visa can be renewed in one-year increments indefinitely.
- No Form I-129 is required: Unlike the regular H-1B visa, the H-1B1 visa applications do not require filing Form I-129 with USCIS which reduces the cost and processing time of the application
- Spouse and Dependent Benefits: H-1B1 visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old to the U.S. under H-4 dependent status. This allows family members to accompany the principal visa holder in the U.S.
How long is an H-1B1 visa valid for?
The initial validity period for an H-1B1 visa is up to 1 year.
However, the visa can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments if the employment in the U.S. continues and the employer and employee meet the necessary requirements.
H-1B1 visa processing time
It can take about 3 weeks for an H-1B1 visa to be issued:
- Labor Condition Application (LCA) certification by the U.S. Department of Labor – 7 business days
- Scheduling interview at the U.S. Embassy (Santiago, Chile or Singapore) – 1-3 calendar days
- Visa issuance – 7 days
To check the most current H-1B1 visa processing time:
- Visit Visa Appointment Wait Times page
- Choose the location of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate (Santiago or Singapore)
- Check the “Interview Required Petition-Based Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q)” timeline
Keep in mind that processing times are general estimates, and individual cases may take less or more time to complete.
Is H-1B1 a green card?
No, the H-1B1 visa is not a green card.
The H-1B1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means it is temporary and does not lead to permanent residency in the U.S.
It is specifically designed for citizens of Chile and Singapore to work temporarily in the U.S. in specialty occupations.
If an individual on an H-1B1 visa wishes to pursue permanent residency, they would need to explore other immigration options, such as:
- Employment-based immigrant visas
- Family-sponsored green cards
- Other eligible immigrant categories (Diversity Visa, Special Immigrants, etc.)