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FORM  I-129

Form I-129
Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Employers may use this form to petition for an alien to come to the U.S. 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, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Employers may also use this form to petition for an extension of stay or change of status for an alien as an E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN nonimmigrant.

Filling Fee

$325

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Edition Date

10/07/11

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

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Number of Pages

35 Pages + Instructions

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FORM I-129 FILING FEE


A U.S. employer filing an H-1B petition must submit the $325 petition filing fee and, unless exempt under Part B of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement of this form, an additional fee of either $1,500 or $750 . A U.S. employer with a total of 25 or less full-time equivalent employees in the United States (including any affiliate or subsidiary of the employer) is only obligated to pay the $750 fee.

Petitioners filing Form I-129 to employ an H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrant from Chile or Singapore must also complete the applicable supplements to the Form I-129 petition. Specifically, the Nonimmigrant Classification Based on Free Trade Agreement Supplement to Form I-129, and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement are required.

Unless exempt under Part B of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement of this form, the additional filing fee of either $1,500 or $750 is also required of U.S. employers seeking to employ an H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrant from Chile or Singapore in the following situations:

  • Employers seeking to employ a current H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrant from Chile or Singapore presently employed by another H-1B1 employer;
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  • Employers requesting an initial extension of H-1B1 status for an
    H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrant from Chile or Singapore that they presently employ; and
  • Employers seeking to change an alien's status and employ the alien as an H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrant from Chile or Singapore in new employment.

A U.S. employer filing an H-1B petition who is required to pay the additional fee may make the payment in the form of a single check or money order for the total amount due or as two checks or money orders, one for the additional fee and one for the petition fee.

NOTE: H-1B and L-1 petitioners who must pay the $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee must pay with a check or money order that is separate from the additional fee and petition fee. The $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee is never required for petitions for H-1B1 Free Trade Nonimmigrants from Chile or Singapore.

Note that premium processing fees are optional and additional (see form I-907).

WHERE TO FILE I-129

In most cases, file this form with the Service Center responsible for the state in which the employment or training will be performed.

Exceptions for NAFTA Countries (Mexico and Canada)

  • If you are filing for a national from Mexico for initial classification as a TN (Trade NAFTA), file your application with the Nebraska Service Center.
  • If you are filing for a national from Canada, and applying for initial classification as a TN (Trade NAFTA), you will not need to complete Form I-129. See 8 CFR 214.6 for information on applying at a U.S. port of entry.
  • If you are applying for a national from Mexico or Canada, who is already in the U.S., and applying for a change of status to TN, or extension of stay as a TN, file at the Nebraska Service Center.
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I-129 SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

All filings for employment or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are filed with the California Service Center, regardless of classification, at:

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

All courier/express deliveries should be forwarded to

24000 Avila Road,
2nd Floor,
Room 2312,
Laguna Niguel,
CA 92677.

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.

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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.

SUB SECTION-1

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 Chili/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.

SUB SECTION-2

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.

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