Form I-129: The Petition for Non-Immigrant Workers

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            As the global economy takes shape, employers are finding it necessary to source talent from the global workforce. These foreign workers are not immigrants since they only intend to work in the country for a specific period. That said, you still need a visa to maintain your employment position in the US and other countries too. Form I-129 helps employers reach an understanding with immigration officials to allow the foreign workers in the country. This type of visa can also change a person’s status to allow them to get work. Moreover, USCIS form I-129 may allow an extended stay or confer a worker with rights like getting a loan.

Eligible Form I-129 Workers

            Form I 129 allows several categories of people that qualify for different statuses to apply for the I-129 visa. Some of these employment-based non-immigrant visa categories include;

  • Performers, artists, entertainers or athletes that qualify for P-1, P-2, and P3 visa status. This also includes their staff who qualify for P-1S, P-2S, and P-3S.
  • Temporary employees that qualify for H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, or H-3 visa status.
  • Alien workers with recognized abilities who also qualify for O-1 visa status. These aliens can also bring their assistants that qualify for O-2 visa status.
  • Cultural exchange staff that qualify for Q1 visa status
  • Religious staff that qualify for R-1 visa status.

Any foreigner that accessed the US on an E-1, E-2 or TN visa cab also extend their stay in the country using form I-129.

Completing form I-129

            There are a total of six pages in the I-129 form. Form I-129 instructions are pretty straightforward, especially if you read through the explanations. You will need to fill in the information about the employer and the employment position of the foreigner. It is important that you file form I 129 carefully since any incomplete petitions will not be approved. Here are a couple of form I-129 instructions to follow.

Details about the petitioner

            The initial part of this USCIS form 129 requires details about the petitioner. The USCIS assumes that the petitioner is also the employer, which makes the foreign worker a beneficiary. This beneficiary will then have to be added to the form later.

More information about the petitioner

            On the second part of this I-129 form, you will give more details about the non-immigrant status you want. You must explain the actions that the USCIS should take and the type of visa you are requesting. It is also at this point that you confirm if the beneficiary fits the visa qualifications.

            Apart from that, you will also have to indicate the classifications. Is it a new employee? If so, you will sign under ‘new employment’. This is also the same when you want a new classification for an existing employee. For extending a non-immigrant worker’s stay, you will have to classify it as ‘continuation of previously approved employment without change’. If there are any changes to job title or even duties, you can classify it as ‘change in previously approved employment’. An ‘amended petition’ classification applies when there has been a significant change in the job position.

Information about the beneficiary

            After filling in details about the visa status you want, you need to give more information about the beneficiary. This part is often simple and mostly requests personal details of the employee. One of the confusing parts of this part is the A-number section. This alien registration number is often assigned to a few foreigners that apply for permanent residence. You can leave it blank if you do not have the number.

Processing Information

            The information given at this point is necessary to ensure that the I-129 form is processed. Some of the inquiries here may include an inspection of the foreign facility or US consulate that the employee may apply a visa. Remember to only use information from the employer’s home country to avoid further delays.

Details about the Employer and Employment Position

            Here the USCIS requires specific information about the petitioner and the employment position. If a Labor Condition Application is necessary, you should include similar information to this section. You should also provide you LCA case number if present. You will be expected to outline the compensation and benefits that the employee will get.

Export Control Certification

            Do you need a license from the federal government to get access to technical information or new technology? If so, a skilled official from the employer’s organization will determine if the license is necessary.  An attorney can help you fill this section if you have no such designed official in your company.

Where To File and Form I-129 Filing Fees

            Form I-129’s are generally filed at the local service or training center. There are some exceptions for NAFTA countries. However, remember to pick the correct form depending on whether you wish to extend, initiate or reinstate an employee’s status. The filing fee totals to about $460 and it is final and non-refundable. This means that you will not get your money back regardless of the verdict of the petition.

Let HMA Law Firm Help You With Your Petition For Non-immigrant Workers

            Completing form I-129 can get quite complicated. Remember that any errors or blank spaces may easily result in a denial. What can we offer you? At HMA Law Firm, we have competent immigration lawyers with a combined experience of 30 years. These attorneys will be at your discretion from start of the application to finish. Call us today for a consultation.

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