FORM I-129S: EMPLOYEE TRANSFER

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Many companies in the U.S. choose to spread their influence and services to other countries. They do this by establishing offices there. However, oftentimes, foreign branches get hold of exceptional talent, and the need to transfer such talent to the main branch rises. If the company qualifies for a “Blanket L-1”, then employees can be easily transferred using Form I-129S. 

What Is Form I-129S? 

Form I-129S is a USCIS form for employers in the United States. Employers file this form to transfer a non-immigrant worker from their office abroad, to the one in the U.S. The transfer process is naturally achieved with the approval of the Blanket L petition by USCIS. Hence, the transferring workers are classified as L-1 nonimmigrant intracompany transferee

Although it allows the transfer of workers abroad to the U.S., Form I-129S also works in other scenarios. This form also allows executives of companies abroad to enter the U.S. to establish an office or branch. 

Form I-129 Vs Form I-129S 

Although both of these forms are similar by name and use, they are fundamentally different. If you do not know the difference, your petition may be canceled, and your money wasted. 

Form I-129 is used to request a change of status or extension of stay for various work visas ranging from H-1B to O-1 to R-1 to L-1. However, Form I-129S allows a foreign employee to get an L1 visa( to transfer to the U.S.) only for blanket L-1’s

Who Is Eligible For Form I-129S? 

Form I-129S is ordinarily an employer petition, and by default, the petitioner must meet the requirements. Be that as it may, it cannot be filed if the beneficiary(foreign employee) is not eligible. 

So, to file this form, both the petitioner and the beneficiary have to meet certain eligibility requirements. 

Requirements For The Petitioner/Employer 

  • The Employer/company must have at least 3 branch offices abroad and in the U.S. 
  • They must have an approved blanket L petition 
  • The employer and its foreign offices must have an active business relationship 
  • The company must have been operating in the United States for 1 year 

Requirements For The Beneficiary/Employee 

  • The transferring employee must be a manager, occupying an executive position, or a specialist. 
  • They must possess both work experience and sound education 
  • The employee must possess a bachelor’s degree or any equal certification 
  • Their officer must be specified in the blanket L petition. 

Tips For Filing Form I-129S 

  • The form has 8 pages comprising of 10 parts 
  • If the form is being filed on your behalf, or you’re making use of an interpreter, then you must fill part 8, 9, and 10. 
  • You must answer all the questions applicable to your case 
  • If you’re filing the form from outside the U.S. then do so at the U.S. embassy/consulate. 
  • If the I-129S form is being filed in the U.S., then do it at a USCIS service center 
  • For people filing from Canada, they can do so at the CBP entry ports. 
  • Form I-129S has no inherent filing fee. However, you must pay Fraud Prevention and Detection Fees in the sum of $500. 
  • You may (conditionally) have to pay $4500 as fees for Public Law 114-113. 
  • You must provide your contact information and signatures whenever required. 

All of these are just simple tips to aid you in filing Form I-129S. However, you will find the full form, and its instructions here and here, respectively. 

Need Help? Contact Us  

Although this post contains all you need to know about Form I-129S, people with little or no experience may confuse the I-129S for the I-129. You may know for a fact that they differ, but you may not know the specifics. Hence, we urge you to get professional help. 

Do not file on a guess: you may end up losing your time and money. So, consult our attorneys first at The HMA Law Firm

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