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I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Purpose of Form

For petitioners filing on behalf of an alien to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners may also use this form to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for an alien.

Number of Pages

Form 35; Instructions 24.

Edition Date

10/07/11 (01/19/11; 11/23/10 edition also accepted)

A new edition of this form is coming soon. In the meantime, customers may file using the 10/07/11 or other previous editions.

Where to File

See filing instructions.

Filing Fee

$325

Special Instructions

Duplicate Copies:

Please provide a duplicate copy of Form I-129 and all supporting documentation at the time of filing if the beneficiary is seeking a nonimmigrant visa abroad, or if the beneficiary is seeking a change of status (COS) or extension of stay (EOS).  Additionally, please provide duplicate copies of all documents sent to USCIS in response to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  USCIS will not make a duplicate copy if one is not provided.

Please note: Failure to submit duplicate copies may cause a delay in issuance of a visa abroad from the Department of State.

Evidence of Petition Approval Needed When Traveling

Along with a valid passport and visa (if applicable), the alien beneficiary should carry the following documents when traveling to the United States:

  • Form I-797 USCIS petition approval notice or
  • A copy of the approved Form I-129S (if applicable)

The alien beneficiary should present this documentation to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when seeking entry or re-entry into the United States in the approved I-129 petition employment classification.

Please note: Evidence of a petition approval is not a visa and the alien beneficiary must possess the appropriate nonimmigrant visa, if one is required, before applying for admission into the United States.

I-94 Validity:

When an alien beneficiary with an approved I-129 petition is admitted to the United States, CBP grants the alien beneficiary a period of stay documented on Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document.

If the expiration date on the Form I-94 ends before the validity period of the I-129 petition (as shown on the I-797 approval notice) one of the following must occur before the expiration date on the Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document:

  • A request for an extension of stay must be filed on behalf of the alien  using Form I-129; or
  • An application for some other immigration benefit that would allow the alien to remain in the United States must be filed; or
  • The alien must depart the United States.

If the alien’s stay is limited as described above, any dependent family members who accompanied or followed to join the alien must also: (a) request an extension of stay using Form I-539; (b) apply for some other immigration benefit that would allow the family member to remain in the United States; or (c) depart the United States, before the expiration date on the family member’s Form I-94 or the date noted in the family member’s passport or travel document.

Part 6 - “Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to Foreign Persons in the United States”

Part 6 of the Form I-129 must be completed by petitioners filing petitions seeking classification of aliens as H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, and O-1A.  Part 6 is not required for petitions for all other classifications, including but not limited to Blanket L petitions (LZ). See our Part 6 of Form I-129: Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP):

Employers who received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program or under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (“covered funding”) are no longer required to answer Question 1d in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement.

The Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) had mandated additional requirements on H-1B petitioners who received covered funding.  These requirements ended on February 16, 2011.  The additional requirements under EAWA no longer apply to any H-1B petition requesting an employment start date of February 17, 2011, or later. 

For Residence in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI):

There is additional guidance you must follow if you are requesting an initial grant of nonimmigrant status in the CNMI. For more information please visit the grants of status webpage.

When completing Form I-129, please list your CNMI Post Office Box when asked for a street or physical address. All filings for employment or services in CNMI, regardless of classification, are filed with the California Service Center at: P.O. Box 10698, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098.  All courier or express deliveries should be forwarded to 24000 Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Room 2312, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677.

This page can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/i-129

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/07/2013