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I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Alert: On Aug. 3, USCIS announced a final rule, published in the Federal Register, that adjusts the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees will be effective Oct. 2, 2020. Applications and petitions postmarked on or after Oct. 2, 2020, must include the new fees or USCIS will not accept them.

The final rule also divides the Form I-129 into multiple forms. On or after Oct. 2, 2020, to petition for a nonimmigrant worker, you must use the new Form I-129E&TN, I-129H1, I-129H2A, I-129H2B, I-129L, I-129MISC or I-129O. 

What to Know About Sending Us Your Form

The current edition of Form I-129, dated 01/27/20

  • We will accept the 01/27/20 edition of this form if it is postmarked before Oct. 2, 2020.
  • We will not accept the 01/27/20 edition if it is postmarked on or after Oct. 2, 2020. 

The new Forms I-129E&TN, I-129H-1, I-129H2A, I-129H2B, I-129L, I-129MISC and I-129O, dated 10/02/20

  • We will accept the 10/02/20 edition of these forms if it is postmarked on or after Oct. 2, 2020.
  • We will not accept the 10/02/20 edition of these forms if it is postmarked before Oct. 2, 2020.
  • The preview form provided includes a watermark indicating that it is a “PREVIEW” and will not be accepted by USCIS. The preview form is provided for informational purposes only. Please note that these forms are subject to change before OMB final approval. The new requirements go into effect Oct. 2, 2020.

Alert: On May 29, 2020, USCIS announced that premium processing would resume for Form I-129 and Form I-140 petitions in phases over the month of June. Read more here: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions.

Petitioners use this form to file on behalf of a nonimmigrant worker to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, 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.

What This Form Can Help You Do

Forms and Document Downloads

Form Details

Edition Date

01/27/20. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format.

Where to File

See Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

Filing Tips for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Complete all sections of the form.

Don’t forget to sign your form! We will reject any unsigned form.

Filing Fee
$460.

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

View the checklist of required initial evidence.

Special Instructions

Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule implementation 

Petitioners requesting an extension of stay or change of status on behalf of aliens who are subject to the new public benefit condition do not need to report the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 if such benefits are received before Feb. 24, 2020. Please read all references to Oct. 15, 2019, as though they refer to Feb. 24, 2020.

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, a change of status, or an extension of stay. Additionally, please provide duplicate copies of all documents sent to us in response to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny. We will not make duplicate copies.

Failure to submit duplicate copies may cause a delay in the Department of State issuing a visa abroad. To speed processing, copies should be double-sided and bound with a single binder clip. Please do not include staples, ribbons, or tabbed dividers in the duplicate copy.

Extension of Stay Requests for Beneficiaries Who Entered the United States Based on an Approved Blanket L Petition:

All petitioners requesting an extension of stay for a beneficiary who entered the United States based on an approved blanket L petition must file the following:

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker,
  • Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition (the 06/02/16 edition only), and
  • A copy of their previously approved Form I-129S.

We may reject any Form I-129 for an L-1 blanket extension of stay request that does not also include Form I-129S.

Change of Status Request for Beneficiaries Who are in the United States:

All petitioners requesting a change of status to L-1 based on an approved blanket L petition for a beneficiary who is currently in the United States must file the following:

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and
  • Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition (the 06/02/16 edition only).

We may reject any Form I-129 for an L-1 blanket change of status request that does not also include Form I-129S.

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 beneficiary should present this documentation to U.S. Customs and Border Protection when seeking entry or re-entry into the United States in the approved Form I-129 employment classification.

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

Form I-94 Validity:

When the beneficiary with an approved Form I-129 is admitted to the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection grants the beneficiary a period of stay documented on Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document.

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

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

If the nonimmigrant worker’s stay is limited as described above, any dependent family members who accompanied or followed to join the beneficiary must also:

  • Request an extension of stay using Form I-539;
  • Apply for some other immigration benefit that would allow the family member to remain in the United States; or
  • 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:

Petitioners must complete Part 6 of Form I-129 if they are seeking to classify a nonimmigrant worker 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:

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.

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

You must follow additional guidance 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 P.O. box when asked for a street or physical address. File your petitions for employment or services in the CNMI, regardless of classification, with the California Service Center.

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

California Service Center
P.O. Box 10698
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

California Service Center
24000 Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

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