Frequent questions

We share with you the most frequently asked questions by our clients.

What is the H1B1 Visa?

The H-1B1 visa is a temporary employment visa, similar to the H-1B, for people in “specialty occupations.” This new category was created by the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Chile.

What is the specialty occupation?

It has been defined as an occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge. It is obtained through the achievement of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience.

Are H1B1 Visas limited?

Yes. The H1B1 category has numerical limits that go beyond the limit of 65,000 H1Bs. 1,400 H1B1 visa numbers are available to citizens of Chile.

Why Chileans can apply for the H1B1 Visa?

The H1B1 Visa is only available to citizens of Chile and Singapore because they are based on FTA between the United States and those countries.

What are the main requirements for the H1B1 Work Visa?

  • Must be a citizen or national of Chile.
  • The position in the United States must be a “specialty occupation.”
  • You must have a post-secondary degree that involves at least four years of study in your field of specialization (although there are some exceptions to this requirement).
  • You cannot be self-employed or an independent contractor.
  • The period of employment in the United States must be temporary, demonstrating nonimmigrant intent.

What are the benefits of the H1B1 Work Visa?

  • Multiple Entry: The H1B1 is a multiple entry visa.
  • No Prior Petition with USCIS Required: One advantage of the H1B1 visa is that H1B1 recipients do not need to first obtain approval of the H1B1 Petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Easy and fast to obtain: In addition, the process to apply for the H1B1 visa is simpler and can be obtained with a week or less after the interview with the United States Consulate.

What are the limitations of the H1B1 Visa?

  • Validity: One of the main drawbacks of the H1B1 visa is that they are only valid in one-year increments.
  • Dual Intent Doctrine: The H1B1 visa does not provide certain protections that are available to H1B and L1 visa holders
  • Cannot Seek Permanent Residence: H1B1 beneficiaries cannot seek permanent residence in the United States while in H1B1 status.
  • The H1B1 visa does not allow you to be self-employed or an independent contractor.

What is the procedure to apply for a Visa?

  • ​Once an employer decides to sponsor you for an H1B1 visa, they must obtain a prevailing wage determination.
  • The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the United States Department of Labor
  • Once the LCA has been approved and is returned by the Department of Labor, the employer can send you supporting documentation and you can apply for your visa at the US consulate.

Can I change employers if I have an H1B1 Visa?

Yes. However, the H1B1 visa is employer specific; therefore, you cannot change employers until you have a new job offer from your new employer.

Can my dependents work on an H4 Visa?

No, dependents of H1B1 visa holders cannot accept employment in the United States. However, this does not prevent them from applying for their own H1B1 Visa from H4 status.

How long does the H1B1 Visa last?

H1B1 visas are only valid for 18 months at the time they are first issued, however renewals are for 12-month periods.

Can I extend my stay with the H1B1 Visa?

Yes. The H1B1 visa status can be extended/renewed annually indefinitely, however after 6 or more years, the consulate may question the double intent.