H-1B1 Visa - Temporary Entry of Nonimmigrant Chileans and Singaporeans

The United States entered into free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile in 2004, which allows for the temporary entry of Chilean and Singaporeans to conduct business in the United States for purposes of trading. Chileans and Singaporeans can obtain a category of the H-1B visa called the H-1B1 visa. 

H-1B1 Visa Requirements - Chileans & Singaporeans

  • The foreign national must submit documentation that confirms that they meet the requirements  set forth by the free trade agreements between the U.S. and their country and comply with the definition of a “specialty occupation” according to the free trade agreements
  • The applicant must submit a letter from their employer with a job offer
  • Provide documentation of proof of labor attestation in the form of a certified ETA 9035 (Foreign Labor Certification) or certified ETA 9035E (Foreign Labor Certification)
  • Those that are in the United States under another nonimmigrant visa category may change their status to H-1B1 status by applying through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

H1B1 CAP (Numerical Limitations)

Each year 1,400 professionals from Chile are allowed to enter the United States under an H-1B1 visa. 5,400 Singaporean professionals are allowed entry into the United States under the H-1B1 visa annually.

H-1B1 Visa Petition

There is no petition for Chileans and Singaporeans under the H-1B1 visa. The employer does not need to submit a petition to the Department of Homeland Security. The applicant however must submit evidence to the U.S. consulate proving that they meet all the H-1B1 visa requirements when applying for the visa.

H-1B1 Visa Application Process

The employer of the Chilean or Singaporean worker must file form ETA 9035 or Form 9035 E Labor Certification Application. The employer must specify either “H-1B1 Chile” or “H-1B1 Singapore” in order for the applicant to be considered for the visa. This Labor Certification Application must be filed with the Department of Labor (DOL).

  • Once the department of labor reviews the Labor Certification Application, the employer will be mailed a copy of the certified Labor Certification Application. The employer should then give this certified copy to the employer along with a letter from the employer with the job offer.
  • The length of stay of the applicant in the United States under the H-1B1 visa is limited to the specific validity period of the approved Labor Certification Application

Please Note that the free trade agreements between the United States and Chile and the United States and Singapore established the entry of nonimmigrants under four categories: business visitors (B-1 visas),  traders/investors(E-1 and E-2 visas) and intra-company transferees (L-1 visas), and the new H-1B1 visa for nonimmigrant professionals. If you are a Chilean and Singaporean and do not qualify for the H-1B1 visa, then you may still qualify for the E-1 visa, E-2 visa, B-1 visa, and L-1 visa. 

H-1B1 Specialty Occupation Definition & Requirements

For the H-1B1 visa, you must show provide evidence that you are involved in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires a specialized body of knowledge and the application of such specialized knowledge in the daily duties of such job. In addition the job must require a bachelors degree or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelors degree.

H1B1 Visa Management Consultants and Disaster Relief Claims Adjusters

Chilean and Singaporean management consultants and disaster relief claims adjusters can qualify for the H-1B1 visa with specialty training and 3 years of work experience instead of the standard H-1B1 requirement of a bachelors degree or higher.

Chilean Agricultural Managers and Physical Therapists

Chilean Agricultural managers and Physical Therapists can qualify for the H-1B1 visa if they have a post-secondary certificate in their specialty occupation and three years of experience instead of the standard bachelors degree requirement.

H1B1 Visa Period of Stay

The H-1B1 visa is valid for a period of one year, but can be renewed indefinitely. This means that the Chilean or Singaporean can enter the United States for an extended stay, however, they must show that their stay in the United States will not be permanent.

H-1B1 Licensure Requirement

Unlike the standard H-1B visa which requires that the alien must have licensure to practice their profession in the United States, Chileans and Singaporeans under the H-1B1 visa do not need to show that they have licensure to practice in the United States as a condition to obtaining the H-1B1 visa, however, once in the United Sates, the H-1B1 holder must show that they have obtain licensure to practice in the U.S., which is enforced by the state or sub-federal authorities.

Application Process Checklist

The Chilean or Singaporean must:

  • Meet the education and occupation requirements
  • Provide the consular officer with the approved/certified ETA 9035 or 9035E
  • Provide evidence that their stay in the U.S. is only temporary (employment offer should state that the position in the U.S. is of temporary nature, giving a specified period of employment in the U.S.)
  • Pay the Machine Readable Visa Fee or provide proof of previous payment
  • H-1B1 holder may change status to other nonimmigrant status through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Written by:Mark Carmel