Form I-129 – Petition For a Nonimmigrant Worker

Form I-129 - Petition For a Nonimmigrant Worker is used by employers to request work authorization for nonimmigrant workers. The form includes supplemental pages and supporting documents depending on the requested visa category.

The Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, is used by US employers or their authorized representatives to request work authorization for certain categories of nonimmigrant visas. The petition must be filed before the foreign national begins employment in the United States. In order to fill out the form, petitioners must provide information about the foreign-national beneficiary who will be employed. This includes their name, birth date, and a number known as an A-number. The latter is a nine-digit registration number assigned to specific foreign nationals. However, this field can be left blank if the worker has not been issued one.

Depending on the type of visa being sought, additional supplemental forms may need to be filled out or other supporting documents required. The employer must also make sure that it is not collecting or agreeing to collect a fee from the foreign-national beneficiary as a condition of employment. This includes fees paid to recruiters and other employment services.

How to File Form I-129?

Gather the Required Documents starting with the following:

  • A copy of the employment offer or contract.
  • Documentation demonstrating the qualifications of the beneficiary (the foreign worker).
  • Information about the employer and the proposed job.
  • Payment for the required filing fee. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount.

Provide information related to:

  • The beneficiary’s personal information.
  • The employer’s information.
  • Details about the proposed employment.
  • Information about the beneficiary’s previous immigration history.
  • Any additional required information based on the specific nonimmigrant category.

You must include the required filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount and acceptable payment methods. USCIS fees are subject to change, so verify the fee amount before submitting your application.

Mail the complete package to the appropriate USCIS address, which can vary based on your location and the specific nonimmigrant category. Be sure to use a trackable mailing method and keep a copy of your application for your records.

Once USCIS reviews your application and supporting documents, they will make a decision and notify you of the outcome. If approved, the beneficiary can proceed with obtaining the appropriate nonimmigrant visa to work in the United States.

Given the complexity of the forms and the small margin for error, many employers seek legal help when filing. It is also recommended to start the process well in advance of the desired employment date to account for processing times and visa caps.

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