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I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

ALERT: On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) in State of New York, et al. v. DHS, et al. and Make the Road NY et al. v. Cuccinelli, et al. enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (84 FR 41292, Aug. 14, 2019, final rule; as amended by 84 FR 52357, Oct. 2, 2019, final rule correction)

On Jan. 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency, effective Jan. 27, 2020, under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d), in response to COVID-19. On Feb. 24, 2020, DHS implemented the Public Charge Rule to be applied prospectively to any application or petition postmarked, or if applicable, submitted electronically on or after that date. On March 13, 2020, the President issued Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak. On the same day, USCIS issued an alert addressing COVID-19 and public charge determinations under the Public Charge Rule.

As long as the July 29, 2020, SDNY decision is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge guidance that was in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020 to the adjudication of any application for adjustment of status on or after July 29, 2020. In addition, USCIS will adjudicate any application or petition for extension of nonimmigrant stay or change of nonimmigrant status on or after July 29, 2020, consistent with regulations in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented; in other words, we will not apply the public benefit condition.

For applications and petitions that USCIS adjudicates on or after July 29, 2020, pursuant to the SDNY injunction, USCIS will not consider any information provided by an applicant or petitioner that only relates to the evidence required by the Public Charge Rule, including information provided on the Form I-944 or any supporting documentation included with that form, or information on the receipt of public benefits in Part 5 on Form I-539, Part 3 on Form I-539A,  Part 6 on Form I-129, or Part 6 on Form I-129CW, or any additional documentation pertaining to the public benefit condition. Applicants and petitioners whose applications or petitions are postmarked on or after July 29, 2020, should not include the Form I-944 or provide information about the receipt of public benefits on Form I-485, Form I-129, Form I-129CW, Form I-539, or Form I-539A.

USCIS will issue guidance regarding the use of affected forms. In the interim, USCIS will not reject any Form I-485 on the basis of the inclusion or exclusion of Form I-944, nor Forms I-129 and I-539 based on whether Part 6, or Part 5, respectively, has been completed or left blank.

In any public charge inadmissibility determination, USCIS will consider the receipt of public benefits consistently with prior public charge guidance – the 1999 Interim Field Guidance (PDF) and AFM Ch. 61.1. (PDF, 77.92 KB)

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.

USCIS has updated the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, H-1B “All Other” classifications.

Please refer to the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for information on where to file petitions for H-1B “All Other” classifications. These classifications include extensions of stay, changes of status, concurrent employment requests, POE/PFI/consular notifications, and amended petitions.

Please note, USCIS will allow a 30-day grace period in which affected petitioners may file Form I-129 at the previously designated service centers. The grace period will end on April 11After this date, USCIS may reject those petitions sent to the incorrect service center.

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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