Fast-Track H-1B1 Visas for Chileans and Singaporeans in Specialty Occupations

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Because of special treaties between that the US has with Chile and Singapore, Chileans and Singaporeans have a fast-track option to receive an H-1B1 specialty occupation visa to temporarily work in the United States. A specialty occupation is:

An occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge . . . including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.

Degree Requirements

The employee must have at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a specific specialty. Unlike the more common H1-B visa, the H-1B1 permits individuals in four jobs to meet different educational requirements: agricultural managers, physical therapists, management consultants, and disaster relief claims adjusters.

Period of Stay

An individual’s first admission to the US in H-1B1 status will last one year. After that, the individual can apply for one-year extensions. Unlike the typical H-1B, there is no 6-year limit on H-1B1 status.

Labor Condition Application

The first step is to get a Labor Condition Application certified by the Department of Labor. In the LCA, the employer attests that there is no strike or lockout; the working conditions will not adversely affect U.S. workers; the employer will pay the greater of the prevailing or actual wages, a notice of the filing of the LCA has been given to other employees or the bargaining representative; and if the employer is H-1B dependent, recruitment and non-displacement attestations may apply.

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Specific Requirements

Unlike the H1-B, for the H-1B1, Form I-129 is not required to be submitted to USCIS. The visa applicant simply brings the approved LCA to a US consulate to apply for a visa along with the required supporting documentation, including a written offer of employment.

Lottery for Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

For the past several years there has been a lottery system for cap-subject H-1B petitions. There are 65,000 H1-Bs available for individuals without a master’s degree. Of those, 1,400 are reserved for Chileans and 5,400 are reserved for Singaporeans to get H-1B1 visas.

Some H-1Bs are not subject to the cap. If the petitioner is an institution of higher education, a nonprofit associated with an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a government research organization, the petition is not subject to the lottery process.

  • Possible USCIS Fees
    • $190: visa fee
  • Related Forms
    • Certified Labor Condition Application (LCA)
    • Form DS-160
  • Steps
    • Get certified LCA
    • Apply for visa at consulate
    • Enter US with 1-year admission period
    • Unlimited extensions of 1 year each are available
  • Dual intent not permitted
  • Not OK to simultaneously seek permanent residence (green card)
  • Must prove that you do not intend to abandon your residence in Chile or Singapore and you must prove that you will not try to get a green card in the US on your present trip
  • On the other hand, there is no specific requirement that you must maintain a residence in abroad.