The I-129 Form is used by an employer (you, the boss or business) to petition USCIS for an alien beneficiary (the foreign employee) to come as a nonimmigrant (visitor) to the U.S. temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training (for a job).
Just preparing for filling out your I-129 can be overwhelming. Often, what feels like a tedious struggle to have to constantly go back for more information destroys your motivation, slows your progress, and therefore inhibits a smooth application process.
The key can be to pool all the information FIRST, then begin filling out the application. We have broken down the general information necessary. As you can see, despite its daunting appearance, the I-129 Petition does not require that much work.
1. Verify that you are applying for a PORQ HEEL visa.
Before you get started, be sure that the I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is for you. If you are not applying for a POQR HEEL temporary visa, then you may not need to fill out the I-129. PORQ HEEL = P, O, R-1, Q-1, H, E-1, E-2, and L Classifications.
If you are applying to a POQR HEEL temporary work visa, then go ahead and begin the collection of your information and documents.
2. Verify that you have funds for the $325 application fee.
Now that you know are in the right place, there’s no point in gathering documents if you can’t turn them in. Make sure you have the application fee set aside before you start working on your application.
3. Understand the info you will need.
The I-129 has a five general parts: i) Petitioner information, ii) Petition information, iii) beneficiary information, iv) processing information, and v) employment and employer information.
Most of the information in these sections you already know off the top of you head (from memory). The Petitioner is you, the employer; the Petition is the I-129 application you will be filling out; your employee is the beneficiary; processing helps the USCIS push your application through; and the employment/employer info is about the job. In other words, it’s a simple application.
4. Compile the information you do not know by memory.
Below is a list of all of the information you will need to fill out an I-129 application. To help you, we have highlighted the information that most people do not know from memory, below:
i. Petitioner Information:
- Legal Name of Employer;
- Company or Organization name;
- Mailing Address, telephone number, email address, federal employer ID number, social security number, and individual tax number.
ii. Petition Information:
- Requested Nonimmigrant Classification (by symbol – PORQ HEEL);
- Basis for classification (new job, continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer, change in previously approved employment, new concurrent employment, change of employer, or amended petition);
- The most recent petition/application receipt number for the beneficiary;
- Requested Action (notify the proper office so each beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted; change each beneficiary’s status and extend their stay since he/she/they are all now in the U.S. in another status [only if you said yes to “new employment”]; extend the stay or amend the stay of each beneficiary since he/she/they now hold this status; extend the status of or change status to a nonimmigrant classification based on a Free Trade Agreement);
- The total number of workers in petition.
iii. Beneficiary Information:
- If an Entertainment Group, the Group Name [person’s name, aliases, date of birth, gender, U.S. SSN, A-number, country of birth, province of birth, country of citizenship];
- If in the beneficiary is already in U.S.: Date of last arrival, I-94 Number, Current nonimmigrant status, date status expires, student & exchange visitor information number SEVIS; EAD Employment Authorization Document number; passport number; date passport issued; date passport expires; current U.S. address.
iv. Processing Information:
- If the beneficiary named above is outside of the U.S. or a requested extension of stay or change of status cannot be granted, state the U.S. consulate or inspection facility you want notified if this petition is approved: Type of office (consulate, pre-flight inspection, port of entry) and office address (by city, state, and beneficiary’s foreign address);
- Does each person in this petition have a valid passport? (not required, no and explanation, or yes);
- Are you filing any other petitions with this one? (no, or yes and how many);
- Are applications for replacement/initial I-94s being filed with this petition? (no or yes and how many);
- Are applications by dependents being filed with this petition? (no or yes and how many);
- Is any beneficiary in this petition in removal proceedings? (no or yes and explain);
- Have you ever filed an immigrant petition for any beneficiary in this petition? (no or yes and explain);
- If you indicated you were filing a new petition above within the past 7 years, has any beneficiary in this petition: a) ever been given the classification you are now requesting (no or yes and explain), or b) ever been denied the classification you are now requesting (no or yes and explain);
- Have you ever previously filed a petition for this beneficiary (no or yes and explain);
- If you are filing for an entertainment group, has any beneficiary in this petition not been with the group for at least 1 year (no or yes and explain);
- Has any beneficiary in this petition ever been a J-1 exchange visitor or J-2 dependent of a J-1 exchange visitor (no or yes, and if yes, provide the dates the beneficiary maintained status as a J-1 exchange visitor or J-2 dependent; also provide evidence of this status by attaching a copy of either a DS-2019, certificate of eligibility for Exchange Visitor status, a Form IAP-66, or a copy of the passport that includes the J visa stamp).
v. Proposed Employment and Employer Information:
- Job Title;
- LCA or ETA Case Number;
- Address where the beneficiary will work if different from address in Part 1 (street number and name, city/town, state, and zip code);
- Is an itinerary included with the petition? (yes or no);
- Will the beneficiary work off-site? (yes or no);
- Will the beneficiary work exclusively in the CNMI? (yes or no);
- Is this a full-time position? (yes or no and hours per week);
- Wages per week or per year;
- Other compensation and explanation;
- Dates of intended employment (from, to);
- Type of Business;
- Year Established;
- Current Number of Employees in the U.S.;
- Gross Annual Income;
- Net Annual Income.
Lastly, with respect to applications for H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, and O-1A petitions, and only if you are preparing a Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Date to Foreign Persons in the U.S, you must consider and be prepared to answer: with respect to the technology or technical data the petitioner will release or otherwise provide access to the beneficiary, the petitioner certifies that it has reviewed the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and has determined that: a license is not from either U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the foreign person; or a license from the U.S Department of Commerce and/or the U.S Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the beneficiary and the petitioner will prevent access to the controlled technology or technical data by the beneficiary until and unless the petitioner has received the required license or other authorization to release it to the beneficiary.
That’s it: i) Petitioner information, ii) Petition information, iii) beneficiary information, iv) processing information, and v) employment and employer information. If you are able to compile all of the information before you begin filling out the I-129 Form, we believe that your entire application process will be happier and easier.