I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Purpose of Form

For petitioners filing 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 a foreign national.

Number of Pages

Form 36; Instructions 29.

Edition Date

01/17/17. Previous editions dated 12/23/16, 08/13/15, 03/26/15 and 10/23/14 are also accepted. However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must include the new fees or we will reject them. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the Form and Instructions.

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.

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 or 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 a duplicate copy if one is not provided.

Please note: 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 will accept Form I-129 change of status requests without the accompanying Form I-129S until November 9, 2016. Starting November 10, 2016, 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 foreign national 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.

Please note: 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 request for an extension of stay must be filed 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”:

Part 6 of Form I-129 must be completed by petitioners filing petitions seeking classification of nonimmigrant workers 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”) no longer must answer Question 1d in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement.

The Employ American Workers Act had mandated additional requirements on H-1B petitioners who received covered funding.  These requirements ended on February 16, 2011.  The additional requirements under the Employ American Workers Act 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 web page.

When completing Form I-129, please list your CNMI Post Office 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 at: P.O. Box 10698, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098.  If you are using courier or express deliveries, send your form to 24000 Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Room 2312, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677.

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