Unlock the I-129 visa petition process with ease – your step-by-step guide to securing work authorization in the U.S.

Are you a temporary worker planning to work in the United States? If so, you may need to familiarize yourself with the I-129 visa petition process. This crucial step is essential for obtaining a non-immigrant work visa, such as the H-1B visa, and securing employment authorization in the U.S. But how does the process work? What forms do you need to complete? And what are the key requirements to keep in mind?

In this article, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of the I-129 visa petition process, providing you with the necessary information and resources to navigate this complex procedure successfully. From completing the USCIS form I-129 to understanding the required supporting documents, we’ll cover everything you need to know to maximize your chances of obtaining a work visa in the United States.

Key Takeaways:

  • Form I-129 is used to file for a non-immigrant worker to come to the U.S. temporarily.
  • Various visa categories, including H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, L-1, and O-1, require Form I-129.
  • The processing time for Form I-129 varies, but premium processing is available for faster results.
  • The filing fee for Form I-129 is $460, with an additional fee of $2,500 for premium processing.
  • Specific supporting documents are required for each visa category, so it’s crucial to review the USCIS checklist.

Which Visa Categories Require Form I-129?

Form I-129 is an essential requirement for several visa categories that allow nonimmigrant workers to come to the United States temporarily. These visa categories include:

  1. H-1B: Specialty occupation workers
  2. H-2A: Agricultural workers
  3. H-2B: Non-agricultural workers with seasonal needs
  4. H-3: Trainees
  5. L-1: Intracompany transferees
  6. O-1: Individuals with extraordinary ability
  7. O-2: Essential support personnel
  8. P-1: Athletes and entertainers
  9. P-1S and P-2S: Support personnel of P-1 and P-2 visa holders
  10. P-2: Artists and entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs
  11. P-3: Artists and entertainers in culturally unique programs
  12. P-3S: Support personnel of P-3 visa holders
  13. Q-1: International cultural exchange visitors
  14. R-1: Religious workers

To initiate the visa application process for these categories, petitioners must submit a completed Form I-129 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Form I-129 Processing Time

The processing time for Form I-129 can vary depending on the visa category and the USCIS service center where the petition is filed. It is important for petitioners to check the current processing times for the specific visa category and service center they are applying to. This will give them an idea of the expected processing time for their I-129 petition.

Premium processing is available for an additional fee of $2,500. This service guarantees processing of the I-129 petition within 15-45 calendar days. Choosing premium processing can greatly expedite the review and approval process, which can be beneficial for individuals with time-sensitive employment needs.

While premium processing offers a faster turnaround time, it is important to note that the majority of I-129 petitions are processed within a reasonable timeframe. However, processing times can vary based on the overall volume of petitions received and the complexity of the case. It is always recommended to submit the I-129 petition well in advance of the anticipated start date of employment to allow sufficient processing time.

Below is a general overview of the processing times for some common visa categories:

Visa Category Regular Processing Time Premium Processing Time
H-1B Approximately 6-8 months 15 calendar days
L-1 Approximately 4-6 months 15 calendar days
O-1 Approximately 4-6 months 15 calendar days
P-1 Approximately 4-6 months 15 calendar days

Note: These processing times are approximate and subject to change. Check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date processing times.

It is important for petitioners to plan their employment start dates accordingly and consider any potential delays that may arise during the processing period. Being proactive and well-informed about the processing times can help minimize any disruptions to planned employment arrangements.

Form I-129 Cost

When filing the Form I-129, there is a filing fee that needs to be paid. The current filing fee for Form I-129 is $460. It is important to note that this fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the time of filing.

If you require expedited processing for your Form I-129 petition, you have the option of using premium processing. Premium processing guarantees a faster processing time, typically within 15-45 calendar days, for an additional fee of $2,500.

To pay the filing fee, various payment methods are accepted. You can use a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card. If paying by credit card, you must complete and submit Form G-1450 along with your Form I-129.

It’s important to ensure that the filing fee is paid in full and by the required deadline to avoid any delays or complications with your petition.

Form I-129 Cost

Form I-129 Supporting Documents

When filing the Form I-129 for various visa categories, it is crucial to include the required supporting documents to strengthen your petition. The specific documents needed may vary depending on the visa category, but there are some common supporting documents that should be considered.

An employment offer letter detailing the job offer is an essential document to include. This letter should provide comprehensive information about the position, including the job title, job duties, salary, and the intended duration of employment.

For certain visa categories such as H-1B and E-3, a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) must be submitted along with the Form I-129. The LCA verifies that the employer will pay the prevailing wage and provide working conditions that are favorable to U.S. workers.

The beneficiary’s resume or CV is also a vital document that showcases their qualifications, skills, and past work experience. It provides evidence of their suitability for the intended position.

Educational credentials, such as degrees or certifications, should be submitted to validate the beneficiary’s educational background and qualifications. These documents play a crucial role, especially for visa categories that require specific educational requirements.

Employment verification letters are essential for certain visa categories like the L-1 visa, which requires evidence of prior employment with a qualifying multinational organization. These letters should include details such as job titles, dates of employment, responsibilities, and other relevant information.

Additional supporting evidence may be required for specialized visa categories such as O and P visas, which cover individuals with extraordinary abilities in specific fields. It is essential to review the USCIS checklist for the specific visa category to ensure all necessary documents are included.

By including these supporting documents, you can strengthen your Form I-129 petition and increase the chances of approval.

Common Supporting Documents for Form I-129

Document Visa Category
Employment Offer Letter All visa categories
Labor Condition Application (LCA) H-1B, E-3
Resume or CV All visa categories
Educational Credentials All visa categories (especially for those with specific educational requirements)
Employment Verification Letters L-1
Additional Evidence (e.g., Awards, Publications) O, P

It is important to remember that these are general guidelines, and the required supporting documents may vary based on the specific visa category and individual circumstances. Reviewing the USCIS checklist for the specific visa category is crucial to ensure all necessary documents are included in your Form I-129 petition.

Portability and the 240-Day Rule

Under the I-129 visa petition process, nonimmigrant workers may be eligible for portability and the 240-day rule, which provides temporary work authorization beyond the expiration of their work visas while their extension petitions are pending. This rule applies to H-1B and L-1 visa holders who have filed for an extension of stay.

The 240-day rule allows eligible workers to continue working for their employer for up to 240 days while the extension petition is being processed. It acts as a “bridge” or “cap-gap” status, ensuring continuity of employment and preventing work interruptions.

This provision benefits both nonimmigrant workers and employers, as it allows workers to maintain their employment and employers to retain skilled individuals during the extension process. It provides stability and flexibility for both parties involved.

How does the 240-day rule work?

Once an H-1B or L-1 visa holder has filed a timely extension petition, they are permitted to continue working for their employer for up to 240 days beyond the expiration of their current visa. The extension petition must be filed before the expiration of the current status to qualify for the 240-day rule.

During this period, the worker retains all the rights and privileges associated with their visa category, including the ability to work for their employer and travel in and out of the United States using a valid passport and visa.

Note: The 240-day rule does not provide authorization for new employment with a different employer. It only allows continued employment with the same employer while the extension petition is pending.

Benefits of the 240-day rule

The 240-day rule offers several key benefits for nonimmigrant workers and employers:

  1. Continuity of employment: Workers can continue working for their employer without interruption while the extension petition is being processed.
  2. Flexibility: The rule provides temporary work authorization, allowing nonimmigrant workers to maintain their employment and fulfill their job responsibilities.
  3. Stability: Employers can retain skilled workers during the extension process, ensuring business continuity and avoiding disruptions caused by gaps in employment.

Comparison of the 240-Day Rule

Visa Category Duration of 240-Day Rule
H-1B Up to 240 days beyond visa expiration
L-1 Up to 240 days beyond visa expiration

Ensuring compliance with the I-129 visa petition process is essential to take advantage of the 240-day rule. Timely filing of the extension petition is key, allowing nonimmigrant workers to continue working while awaiting approval. This provision provides peace of mind and stability for both workers and employers during the visa extension process.

Traveling Abroad with a Pending Form I-129 Petition

Traveling abroad while your Form I-129 petition is pending can be a complex process. It’s important to consider several factors, including visa category and the stage of your petition. To avoid complications, it is generally recommended to alert your employer of your travel plans before the expiration of your current visa status.

In some cases, it may be possible to travel using a valid, unexpired visa and the USCIS receipt notice for your pending Form I-129. However, the ability to travel will depend on your specific circumstances, so it’s crucial to consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from the appropriate authorities.

“Remember to inform your employer about your travel plans before your current visa status expires. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation to ensure a smooth travel experience while your Form I-129 petition is pending.”

Keep in mind that each visa category and case is unique, and there may be additional requirements or restrictions that apply. It’s advisable to seek professional advice to understand your options and ensure compliance with immigration regulations.

Pros and Cons of Traveling Abroad with a Pending Form I-129 Petition

Pros Cons
  • Possible to travel using a valid, unexpired visa
  • Opportunity to attend important personal or professional events
  • Ability to visit family and loved ones
  • Potential for expedited visa processing in some cases
  • Risk of complications or delays in visa processing
  • Possible disruption to work or employment authorization
  • Potential challenges in re-entering the U.S. with a pending petition
  • Additional expenses and logistical considerations

Before making any travel plans, it’s crucial to weigh these factors and carefully evaluate your specific situation. Consulting with an immigration attorney or seeking guidance from relevant authorities can help you make informed decisions regarding travel while your Form I-129 petition is pending.

Travel Abroad with a Pending I-129 Petition

Traveling abroad can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s essential to navigate the process responsibly and in compliance with immigration regulations. By staying informed, seeking professional advice, and following the necessary procedures, you can increase the likelihood of a smooth travel experience with a pending Form I-129 petition.

Evidence of Petition Approval When Traveling

When traveling to the United States, it is important for the beneficiary to carry evidence of the petition approval along with a valid passport and visa (if applicable). This documentation serves as proof of the approved petition and facilitates entry or re-entry into the country.

The following are acceptable forms of evidence of petition approval:

  1. Form I-797, Notice of Action: This document confirms the approval of the petition and provides important information regarding the visa classification and validity period.
  2. Approved Form I-129S: For certain visa categories, such as the L-1 intra-company transferee visa, an approved Form I-129S may serve as evidence of petition approval. This form is specific to individual L-1 beneficiaries and contains relevant information about the approved petition.

Upon arrival in the United States, it is crucial to present the evidence of petition approval to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. This enables them to verify the beneficiary’s eligibility to enter the country and work legally.

Note: It is recommended to keep copies of the evidence of petition approval in a secure location, separate from the originals, as a precautionary measure.

Document Pros Cons
Form I-797, Notice of Action
  • Provides comprehensive information about petition approval
  • Official document issued by USCIS
  • Accepted by CBP as evidence of approval
  • Can be easily misplaced or lost
  • Original document may be required for certain processes
Approved Form I-129S
  • Specific to individual L-1 beneficiaries
  • Contains relevant information about the approved petition
  • Accepted by CBP as evidence of approval for L-1 visa holders
  • Only applicable to certain visa categories
  • May not be issued for all approved petitions

Ensuring the availability and accuracy of the evidence of petition approval is essential for a smooth and efficient travel experience. By presenting the required documentation, beneficiaries can demonstrate their eligibility to enter the United States and begin their authorized employment.

Form I-94 Validity

When a beneficiary with an approved Form I-129 is admitted to the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection grants 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, the beneficiary must take specific actions before the expiration date to ensure their legal stay in the country.

  • Filing a request for an extension of stay
  • Applying for another immigration benefit

It is crucial for the beneficiary to address their status before the expiration date to avoid any potential violations of U.S. immigration laws. Dependent family members should also be aware of their stay limitations and take appropriate actions accordingly.

“Taking prompt action ensures that beneficiaries with an approved Form I-129 can maintain their legal status in the United States and continue their temporary employment without interruption.”
– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data

As part of the Form I-129 visa petition process, it is important for petitioners to complete Part 6 of the form if the nonimmigrant worker is being classified as H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, or O-1A. This section is not required for other classifications, including blanket L petitions.

Part 6 specifically addresses the release of controlled technology or technical data to foreign persons in the United States. This certification is essential to ensure compliance with regulations and to protect national security interests.

To understand the requirements and implications of this certification, petitioners are encouraged to review the frequently asked questions provided by USCIS. These questions and answers offer valuable insights and guidance regarding the release of controlled technology or technical data.

Troubled Asset Relief Program

Employers who received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program are no longer required to answer question 1d in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. This exemption applies to employers under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act.

Impact on H-1B Applicants

If your employer has been a recipient of funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, you may be relieved from providing the information requested in question 1d of the H-1B Data Collection form. This change streamlines the application process for H-1B applicants and alleviates the burden of additional documentation.

“The Troubled Asset Relief Program exemption simplifies the H-1B application process for employers and provides a more efficient pathway for eligible applicants to secure their work authorization.”

Previously, question 1d in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement required employers to disclose whether they received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. This information was collected to ensure transparency and accountability in the H-1B visa program.

However, the recent exemption allows employers who received Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to bypass this requirement. This change reflects the government’s recognition of the unique circumstances that arise from participating in this financial assistance program.

This exemption applies specifically to employers under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act, which covers recipients of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. It streamlines the H-1B application process for both employers and beneficiaries, facilitating smoother and faster processing times.

It is important to note that while the Troubled Asset Relief Program exemption removes the requirement to answer question 1d, all other eligibility and documentation requirements for the H-1B visa application still apply. Applicants must ensure that they meet all other criteria and submit the necessary supporting documentation.

Troubled Asset Relief Program
Previous Requirement Troubled Asset Relief Program Exemption
Employers had to answer question 1d in the H-1B Data Collection form. Employers under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act are exempt from answering question 1d.
Additional documentation may have been required to substantiate participation in the Troubled Asset Relief Program. No additional documentation is required to prove or disclose participation in the program.
The burden of providing extra information and documentation could prolong the H-1B application process. The exemption streamlines the application process, reducing unnecessary paperwork and ensuring faster processing times.

Additional Guidance for Residence in the CNMI

If you are requesting nonimmigrant status for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), there are additional guidelines you must follow. When completing Form I-129, the petitioner should list the CNMI P.O. Box as the street or physical address. Furthermore, it is important to file petitions for employment or services in the CNMI with the Texas Service Center.

Guidelines for Residence in the CNMI

  1. List the CNMI P.O. Box as the street or physical address on Form I-129.
  2. Ensure all petitions for employment or services in the CNMI are filed with the Texas Service Center.

This guidance is crucial for individuals seeking nonimmigrant status in the CNMI. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient process for your visa petition.

Note: The image above represents the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which is the subject of this section.

Guidelines for Residence in the CNMI
List the CNMI P.O. Box as the street or physical address on Form I-129.
Ensure all petitions for employment or services in the CNMI are filed with the Texas Service Center.

Related Links and Forms Information

For additional resources and information related to temporary nonimmigrant workers, USCIS provides a comprehensive array of materials. These include:

  • General Information: A wealth of information covering various aspects of temporary nonimmigrant workers. This resource provides insights into visa categories, eligibility requirements, and the overall process.
  • Filing Fees for H and L Visas: A breakdown of the filing fees associated with H and L visa petitions. This resource is valuable for employers and beneficiaries looking for accurate fee information.
  • The VIBE Program: A program designed to validate the legitimacy of businesses that petition for certain nonimmigrant and employment-based immigrant classifications. This resource offers guidance on the verification process and requirements.
  • Forms Information: Detailed instructions and guidance for specific forms related to nonimmigrant workers. This resource ensures that petitioners have access to the most up-to-date forms and understand how to complete them accurately.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Part 6 of Form I-129: A resource that addresses common inquiries regarding Part 6 of Form I-129. This section is particularly relevant for employers filing under H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, or O-1A classifications.
  • Premium Processing Service: Information regarding the premium processing service and its benefits. This resource outlines the expedited processing option available for certain nonimmigrant worker petitions.
  • H-1B and L-1 Visa Information: Comprehensive resources specific to H-1B and L-1 visa categories. These resources provide detailed instructions and guidance for employers and beneficiaries in these classifications.
  • H-1B Cap Season: Information pertaining to the annual cap for H-1B petitions. This resource outlines the process and important dates for filing H-1B petitions subject to the numerical limitations.
  • Filing Multiple L-1 Petitions: Information and guidance for employers filing multiple L-1 petitions. This resource clarifies the requirements and process for submitting multiple petitions.
  • Immigrant Visa Petitions Returned by the State Department Consular Offices: Information related to immigrant visa petitions returned by the State Department Consular Offices. This resource provides guidance on addressing issues that may arise during the consular processing phase.
  • Questions About Same or Similar Occupational Classifications Under AC21: A resource that provides insight into the regulations governing same or similar occupational classifications under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).
  • Grants of Status in the CNMI: Information and guidance specific to nonimmigrant workers seeking grants of status in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This resource offers clarity on the process and requirements within this unique jurisdiction.

These resources can provide valuable clarification and guidance for employers, beneficiaries, and their legal representatives navigating the complexities of the temporary nonimmigrant worker visa petition process.

Resource Description
General Information Covering various aspects of temporary nonimmigrant workers
Filing Fees for H and L Visas Breakdown of the filing fees associated with H and L visa petitions
The VIBE Program Program to validate the legitimacy of businesses petitioning for certain nonimmigrant and employment-based immigrant classifications
Forms Information Detailed instructions and guidance for specific forms related to nonimmigrant workers
Frequently Asked Questions about Part 6 of Form I-129 Resource addressing common inquiries regarding Part 6 of Form I-129
Premium Processing Service Information regarding the premium processing service and its benefits
H-1B and L-1 Visa Information Comprehensive resources specific to H-1B and L-1 visa categories
H-1B Cap Season Information pertaining to the annual cap for H-1B petitions
Filing Multiple L-1 Petitions Information and guidance for employers filing multiple L-1 petitions
Immigrant Visa Petitions Returned by the State Department Consular Offices Information related to immigrant visa petitions returned by the State Department Consular Offices
Questions About Same or Similar Occupational Classifications Under AC21 Resource providing insight into the regulations governing same or similar occupational classifications under AC21
Grants of Status in the CNMI Information and guidance specific to nonimmigrant workers seeking grants of status in the CNMI

Related Links and Forms Information

How to Complete Form I-129

Completing Form I-129 requires providing accurate and legible information. USCIS provides a separate 29-page instruction guide for filing Form I-129, which includes detailed instructions on each section of the form and guidance on completing the necessary supplemental forms. Petitioners should follow these instructions carefully to ensure the form is filled out correctly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing Form I-129:

  1. Start by downloading the latest version of Form I-129 from the official USCIS website.
  2. Read the instructions carefully to understand the requirements and gather all the necessary documents and information.
  3. Begin filling out the form by providing the requested information in Section 1 – Reason for Applying. This section requires details about the visa category, the petitioner’s information, and the beneficiary’s information.
  4. Continue to Section 2 – Additional Information About the Petitioner. Here, you will provide details about the petitioner’s organization, including the address, contact information, and organization type.
  5. Proceed to Section 3 – Beneficiary Information. This section requires information about the beneficiary’s background, such as their full name, date of birth, country of birth, and citizenship information.
  6. Fill out Section 4 – Contract or Itinerary Information. This section is specific to certain visa categories and requires details about the contract or the itinerary, including the period of intended employment or services.
  7. Complete Section 5 – Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data. This section is only applicable to H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, or O-1A visa categories. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure compliance with the requirements.
  8. Review the rest of the form and fill out the relevant sections, such as the Certification and Signature sections.
  9. Double-check all the information provided to ensure accuracy and legibility.
  10. Prepare the necessary supporting documents and ensure they are properly organized and attached to the form.
  11. Sign and date the form as required.
  12. Make a copy of the completed form and all supporting documents for your records.
  13. Submit the completed form, along with the filing fee and supporting documents, to the appropriate USCIS address as instructed in the form’s instructions.

By following these step-by-step instructions and reviewing the USCIS guidance, petitioners can ensure that Form I-129 is completed correctly and increase their chances of a successful application.

Section Description
Section 1 Reason for Applying
Section 2 Additional Information About the Petitioner
Section 3 Beneficiary Information
Section 4 Contract or Itinerary Information
Section 5 Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data
Section 6 Beneficiary’s Last Arrival as an L Nonimmigrant (if applicable)
Section 7 Beneficiary’s Last Departure as an L Nonimmigrant (if applicable)
Section 8 Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data (if applicable)
Section 9 Additional Information About the Petitioner (if applicable)

Conclusion

Navigating the I-129 visa petition process is crucial for employers and nonimmigrant workers seeking temporary employment in the United States. It is essential to understand the requirements, filing fees, supporting documents, and processing times to ensure a successful application.

By carefully following the provided instructions and utilizing the available resources, employers and beneficiaries can navigate the process with confidence. This includes completing Form I-129 accurately, including all required information and supporting documents.

Securing work authorization in the U.S. is possible by staying informed and organized throughout the visa petition process. Employers and nonimmigrant workers are encouraged to take advantage of the information and guidance available from USCIS to ensure a smooth and successful visa application process.

FAQ

What is the purpose of the I-129 form?

The I-129 form is used to file for a nonimmigrant worker to come to the United States temporarily. It is used for various visa categories, including 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. The form can also be used for requesting an extension of stay or change of status for certain non-immigrant classifications.

Which visa categories require Form I-129?

Form I-129 is required for various visa categories, including H-1B for specialty occupation workers, H-2A for agricultural workers, H-2B for non-agricultural workers with seasonal needs, H-3 for trainees, L-1 for intracompany transferees, O-1 for individuals with extraordinary ability, O-2 for essential support personnel, P-1 for athletes and entertainers, P-1S and P-2S for support personnel of P-1 and P-2 visa holders, P-2 for artists and entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs, P-3 for artists and entertainers in culturally unique programs, P-3S for support personnel of P-3 visa holders, Q-1 for international cultural exchange visitors, and R-1 for religious workers. Petitioners must use Form I-129 to file for these visa categories.

What is the processing time for Form I-129?

The processing time for Form I-129 varies depending on the visa category and the USCIS service center where the petition is filed. It is important to check the current processing times for the specific visa category and service center to get an idea of how long it might take. Premium processing is available for an additional fee of $2,500, which guarantees processing within 15-45 calendar days.

How much does Form I-129 cost?

The filing fee for Form I-129 is $460. This fee must be paid at the time of filing, and it is non-refundable. Premium processing requires an additional fee of $2,500. Payment can be made by money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card using Form G-1450.

What supporting documents are required for Form I-129?

The required supporting documents for Form I-129 vary depending on the visa category. Some common documents include an employment offer letter detailing the job offer, a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) for H-1B and E-3 visas, the beneficiary’s resume or CV, educational credentials, employment verification letters for L-1 visas, and additional evidence for specialized categories such as O and P visas. It is important to review the USCIS checklist of required initial evidence for the specific visa category to ensure all necessary documents are included.

What is the 240-Day Rule for Form I-129?

The 240-Day Rule allows certain nonimmigrant workers to continue working for their employer for up to 240 days beyond the expiration of their work visas, provided that they have filed a new I-129 petition in a timely manner. This rule applies to H-1B and L-1 visa holders who have filed for an extension of stay. It allows them to continue working while their extension petitions are pending.

Can I travel abroad while a Form I-129 petition is pending?

Traveling abroad while a Form I-129 petition is pending can be complicated. It is generally recommended to alert the employer of travel plans before the expiration of the current visa status. The ability to travel depends on the specific circumstances, such as the visa category and the stage of the petition. In some cases, it may be possible to travel using a valid, unexpired visa and the USCIS receipt notice for the pending Form I-129.

What evidence should I carry when traveling to the United States with an approved Form I-129?

When traveling to the United States, the beneficiary should carry evidence of the petition approval along with a valid passport and visa (if applicable). The evidence can include Form I-797, Notice of Action, stating the approval of the petition, or a copy of the approved Form I-129S for certain visa categories. This documentation should be presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection when seeking entry or re-entry into the United States.

How long is Form I-94 validity?

When a beneficiary with an approved Form I-129 is admitted to the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection grants 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, the beneficiary must take specific actions before the expiration date, such as filing a request for an extension of stay or applying for another immigration benefit. Dependent family members should also take appropriate actions if their stay is limited.

When is Part 6 of Form I-129 completed?

Part 6 of Form I-129 must be completed if the nonimmigrant worker is being classified as H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, or O-1A. This part is not required for other classifications, including blanket L petitions. It addresses the release of controlled technology or technical data to foreign persons in the United States. Petitioners should review the frequently asked questions for more information.

Are employers who received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program exempt from a certain question in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement?

Yes, employers who received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program are no longer required to answer question 1d in Part A of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. This exemption applies to employers under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act.

Is there additional guidance for residence in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)?

Yes, if the request for nonimmigrant status is for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), additional guidance must be followed. The petitioner should list the CNMI P.O. Box as the street or physical address when completing Form I-129 and file the petitions for employment or services in the CNMI with the Texas Service Center.

Where can I find additional resources and information related to temporary nonimmigrant workers?

USCIS provides additional resources and information related to temporary nonimmigrant workers, including general information, filing fees for H and L visas, the VIBE Program, forms information, frequently asked questions about Part 6 of Form I-129, premium processing service, H-1B and L-1 visa information, H-1B cap season, filing multiple L-1 petitions, immigrant visa petitions returned by the State Department Consular Offices, questions about same or similar occupational classifications under AC21, and grants of status in the CNMI. These resources can provide further clarification and guidance.

How do I complete Form I-129 accurately?

Completing Form I-129 requires providing accurate and legible information. USCIS provides a separate 29-page instruction guide for filing Form I-129, which includes detailed instructions on each section of the form and guidance on completing the necessary supplemental forms. Petitioners should follow these instructions carefully to ensure the form is filled out correctly.

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Hello! I'm Wise, a Filipina with a deep love for my country and a passion for sharing its beauty with the world. As a writer, blogger, and videographer, I capture the essence of the Philippines through my eyes, hoping to give foreign visitors a true taste of what makes these islands so special.

From the vibrant streets of Manila to the tranquil beaches of Palawan, my journey is about uncovering the hidden gems and everyday wonders that define the Filipino spirit. My articles and blogs are not just travel guides; they are invitations to explore, to feel, and to fall in love with the Philippines, just as I have.

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