H-1B1 Visa for Professionals from Chile and Singapore

H-1B1 visas are work visas created specifically for professionals from Chile and Singapore seeking temporary employment in the US. Thanks to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Citizens of Chile and Singapore can now enjoy 1,400 H-1B1 visas and 5,400 H-1B1 visas respectively. 

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This article provides detailed information on this visa category — what it is, who is eligible to apply for one, how to apply for one, and all you need to know about it.

What is H-1B1 Visa?

The US government signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile and Singapore in 2003. The purpose of the FTA was to eliminate certain trade barriers and also allow free movement of citizens from Chile and Singapore into the US which led to the introduction of a Visa category known as H-1B1 visa.

This agreement was implemented in 2004 making the Citizens of Chile and Singapore eligible to apply for this Visa. However, only qualified professionals from Chile and Singapore are issued this visa. Professionals may include those who have completed higher education degrees, such as Bachelor’s, Masters, or Doctoral Degrees. 

All You Should Know About H-1B1 Visa

  • The H-1B1 is divided into two categories; H-1B1 Chile for Chileans and H-1B1 Singapore for Singaporeans.
  • Till date, the annual Cap of 1,400 H-1B1 Chile and 5,400 H-1B1 Singapore has never been reached.
  • Employers do not need to file a petition with USCIS before H-1B1 visas are issued 
  • This visa holders are not mandated to possess licenses before they can practice in the US
  • This visa holders are restricted from applying for US green card
  • Not every Citizen of Chile and Singapore is eligible to apply for the H-1B1 Visa

Who Can Apply for H-1B1 Visa

As stated earlier, not every Chilean and Singaporean is eligible for an H-1B1 Visa. Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for H-1B1 Visa.

  • Must be a resident of Chile or Singapore who possess a passport from any of the two countries
  • Must be professionals with certificates or diplomas to prove they are professionals.
  • Must prove your intentions of returning to your country by submitting documents like property holdings.
  • Must have a job offer from a US Employer and the position offered must be in a specialty occupation.

What is a Specialty Occupation?

According to USCIS, specialty occupations are jobs with responsibilities that are so specialized that they require expert knowledge from a specific field of study and only a person with at least a Bachelor’s degree in the field can perform them. They include Engineering, Accounting, healthcare, Law, etc.

However, other citizens of Chile and Singapore without a high degree but have the training and outstanding skills may also qualify to apply for the H1B1 visa

How to Apply for H-1B1 Visa

If you’re eligible for this visa, you must apply at the US Consulate in Chile or Singapore. You cannot apply from other countries because the Free Trade Agreement specifies that H-1B1 visas are for citizens of Chile and Singapore.

Here are the Steps to Apply for H-1B1 Visa

1.  Complete the DS-160 Application form

Just like the general US Visa Application procedures, you are required to fill the DS-160 Application form with your correct details. Ensure you print the confirmation page after completing the form. You can find this application form online. 

2.  Schedule your interview

The earlier you schedule your interview; the earlier you will receive feedback. Therefore it is advisable to schedule your interview immediately after completing the DS-160 Application form

3.  Submit the required documents.

You will be required to submit the following documents.

  • A Valid passport from Chile or Singapore
  • Your Job offer
  • A recent US Visa photograph.
  • DS-160 form confirmation page
  • Labour Condition Application Certification from the US Department of Labour

4.  Go for Your Interview

After submitting the relevant documents, you can go for your interview on the appointed date. Expect questions about all the information and documents you have submitted. The interviewers will ask you questions structured to discover whether you have intentions of staying in the US permanently.

How Long Does it Take To Process H-1B1 Visa?

After completing the application process, you will wait for some months before receiving feedback. Processing H-1B1 visas take more time than the H-1B Visa. It could take up to 6 months to be processed. Furthermore, you can visit the US Department of State website to confirm the status of your application. 

What is the Validity of H-1B1 Visas

H-1B1 Visas are only valid for 18 months after which the citizens of Chile and Singapore are expected to return to their home country.

If you have questions about the H-1B1 Visa, kindly write to us in the comments section below.

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