Webinar | The O-1 Visa for Startup Founders Register Now

H-1B1: A Specialty Occupation Work Visa for Singaporean and Chilean Nationals


The H-1B1 is a U.S. work visa for nationals of Chile and Singapore.

The H1-B1 was established after the U.S. entered into free trade agreements with both Chile and Singapore. On the surface, the H-1B1 looks almost identical to the H-1B visa—just for Chilean and Singaporean citizens. However, there are a few key differences.

H-1B1 vs. H-1B: Key Differences

The H-1B1 is very similar to the well-known H-1B visa, with a few differences.

First, H-1B1 applicants are not subject to the regular H-1B cap. However, they are still subject to an annual cap. Each year, 1,400 H-1B1 visas are available to qualified Chilean nationals, and 5,400 are available to qualified Singaporean nationals. 

Another difference between the H-1B1 and H-1B nonimmigrant visas is length of validity. While H-1Bs are typically valid for three years, H-1B1s are only valid for one year. H-1Bs can only be renewed for up to six years, but H-1B1s can be renewed indefinitely in three-year increments. 

Who qualifies for the H-1B1 visa?

Like the H-1B visa, the H-1B1 enables foreign nationals to work in a specialty occupation in the U.S. 

A specialty occupation is a role only someone with a high level of relevant knowledge can perform. For example, a software engineer is a common specialty occupation since most software engineer positions require candidates to hold a related degree or substantial years of experience. 

Other potential specialty occupations include software developer, systems analyst, consultant, project manager, attorney, architect, database administrator, and analyst.

To qualify for the H-1B1, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Chilean or Singaporean citizen
  • Have a job offer from a U.S. company for a specialty occupation role
  • Possess the requirements academic or professional experience required for the specialty occupation (typically, a bachelor’s degree or higher)

How to get an H-1B1 visa:

Preparing an H-1B1 petition is the first step in obtaining an H-1B1 visa.

H-1B1 petitions typically contain the following:

  • Government filing fees
  • Immigration forms
  • An approved Labor Certification Application (LCA)
  • Legal documents about the company
  • Immigration documents about the candidate
  • Supporting documents showing the candidate meets the H-1B1 requirements

Some U.S. companies prepare H-1B1 visa petitions with an in-house immigration team, while others work with another immigration provider like Legalpad (acquired by Deel). The compiled H-1B1 petition is shipped by mail to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service center. 

USCIS visa processing times vary, but when filed with premium processing, USCIS reviews H-1B1 petitions in 15 calendar days.

After an H-1B1 petition is approved, the H-1B1 candidate can get their physical visa stamp at a U.S. consulate. With a physical visa stamp, H-1B1 visa holders can travel to the U.S. to begin work at their sponsoring employer. 

Get support on your next work visa application

The H-1B1 application process can be challenging to navigate on your own. With dedicated customer support from immigration experts and technology-driven solutions, we make immigration seamless. Reach out today to learn more.

About the author:

Annie Blay

Content Marketing Specialist

Before joining the marketing team, Annie helped over 60 Legalpad clients navigate U.S. immigration on the client services team.