Filling Out The I-129 Petition For Nonimmigrant Worker
Types of Sponsorship
U.S. employers should complete and file form I-129, Petition for Non Immigrant Worker, to sponsor:
- Temporary employees that meet eligibility requirements for H-1B, H-1C, H-2A or H-3 status.
- Certain foreigners with outstanding abilities who meet the standards for O-1 status, and their assistants who qualify for O-2 status.
- Athletes, entertainers and others who qualify for P-1, P-2, or P-3 status, and their key staff that meet eligibility standards for P-1S, P-2S, or P-3S status.
- People designated as cultural exchange visitors as long as they qualify for Q-1 status,
- People designated as religious workers as long as they qualify for R-1 status.
As noted above, this form should also be used to request extensions for foreign nationals who entered the United States in E-1, E-2, or TN visas.
The following information is provided as a general guide to completing Form I-129, Application for Nonimmigrant Worker, and is not meant to be legal advice. Anyone wishing to sponsor someone from another country for a visa that will allow them to work in the United States on a temporary basis should consult an experienced, knowledgeable immigration attorney before completing this form.
Part 1. Petitioner Information 👤 (about you — the person or organization sponsoring the worker)
1. Legal Name of Individual Petitioner
2. Company or Organization Name
3. Mailing Address of Individual, Company or Organization
4. Contact Information -- How you can be reached
5. Other Information -- Tax Identification
Part 2. Information About This Petition 👥 Type of Visa Requested
1. Requested Nonimmigrant Classification (Write classification symbol)
2. Basis for Classification (select only one box)
- Mark the first box (box “a”) if you are sponsoring a new employee for a new job or if you are requesting a different visa classification for a current employee.
- Mark the second box (box “b”) if the employee will remain in his or her current job without any changes to job title, responsibilities and so forth.
- Mark the third box (box “c”) if there is a minor change in the foreign worker’s employment.
Mark the fourth box (box “d”) if the foreign worker will be employed by another individual or business in the same visa category.
- Mark the fifth box (box “e”) if the foreign worker will be working for a different individual or business and extending his or her visa classification.
- Mark the box (box “f”) if there has been a significant change in the foreign worker’s employment, such as a change in duties or responsibilities.
3. Provide the most recent petition/application receipt number for the beneficiary (the person you are sponsoring)
This will only apply if the person you are sponsoring has filed prior applications with USCIS or a similar agency. It includes 13 characters/digits and begins with a series of letters. If this doesn’t apply, write or type “None” in the space provided.
4. Requested Action (select only one box)
There are six boxes in this section. Mark the box that best explains why you are sponsoring the foreign worker(s) for the requested visa classification.
5. Requested Action (select only one box)
Write or type the number of workers you are sponsoring on this form in the box provided. If you have questions about how many workers can be sponsored on one form, see the Instructions for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.
Part 3. Beneficiary Information 🔎(Information About The Person You Are Sponsoring)
1. The name of the entertainment group you are sponsoring (if applicable)
2. Provide Name of Beneficiary
3. Provide All Other Names The Beneficiary Has Used
4. Other Information -- About The Person You Are Sponsoring
5. Information For Beneficiaries Currently In The U.S.
6. Current U.S. Address Where The Person You Are Sponsoring Now Lives
Part 4. Processing Information 📄 For Administrative Purposes
1. For Beneficiaries Outside Of The United States
2. Information About The Beneficiary’s Passport
3 through 11b. More Questions About Your Application And Beneficiary/Beneficiaries
Part 5. 📑 Basic Information About the Proposed Employment and Employer
1 through 16. General Information About the Employer, Job, Salary, etc
Part 6. Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to 🖋 Foreign Persons in the United States
Part 7. 📄 Declaration, Signature, and Contact InformationThis is the part in which you (the petitioner/sponsor or someone from the business who is authorized to sign this form on its behalf, such as someone in Human Resources) must sign and date the form. USCIS will not accept any form that is not signed or dated.
1. Full Name Of The Person Authorized To Sign The Form
2. Sign And Date The Form
3. Provide The Requested Contact Information
Part 8. Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information❗️For The Person Who Completed This Form For You
If you are an individual petitioner and someone else, such as an attorney, completed this form for you based on information you provided; or you are filing this application as a business or organization and someone who is not affiliated with the business completed this form based on information you provided, they must complete this part.
1. Provide The Preparer’s Name
2. Provide The Preparer’s Business Name
3 and 4. Provide The Preparer’s Mailing Address And Contact Information
5. Preparer’s Signature And Date
Supplements To Form I-129, Petition For Nonimmigrant Worker❗️
In addition to completing the application, you must also complete the supplement for the type of visa classification you are seeking. You do not have to complete the supplement for any other visa classification.
E-1/E-2 Classification Supplement to Form I-129
As a U.S. employer, you must complete this supplement when a foreign worker is already in the United States and he or she wants to amend or extend his or her visa in one of the following categories:
- E-1 Treaty Trader
- E-2 Treaty Investor, or
- E-2 CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) Investor
These groupings are based on specific agreements between the United States and the country where the foreign worker is a citizen.
Preliminary Questions -- Identification
Section 1. Information About the Employer Outside the United States (if any)
Section 2. Additional Information About the U.S. Employer
Section 3 - E-1 Treaty Trader
Section 4. Complete If Filing for an E-2 Treaty Investor
Trade Agreement Supplement to Form I-129
You should only fill out this form if you are an employer who is sponsoring foreign workers for nonimmigrant visa classifications based on on a free trade agreement between the United States and the country where the worker is a citizen.
The first two questions on this form are self-explanatory. Because U.S. and foreign employers can sponsor foreign workers in one of these visa categories, mark the appropriate box in Item 3. If you are a foreign employer, write or type the name of the country in Item 4.
Section 1. Information About Requested Extension or Change
Section 2. Petitioner's Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information
Section 3. Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information of Person Preparing Form
H Classification Supplement to Form I-129
You should only complete this form if you are an employer who is sponsoring a foreign worker for any of the main “H” visa categories (H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3). Everyone must answer the first seven questions. The rest of the form is divided into different sections for each H classification. You should only complete the specific section for the H visa classification you are requesting.
General Information -- About you (the sponsor/petitioner) and the foreign worker (beneficiary)
1. and 2. Names of the petitioner and beneficiary
Print or type your name in the space provided for Item 1. If you are sponsoring one person list their name in the space provided for Item 2a. If you are sponsoring more than one person, write or type the total number of people you are sponsoring in the space provided for Item 2b.
3. Information about past stays in the U.S. with certain visa classifications
This is where you should indicate how long each beneficiary remained in the United States on an H or L visa in the past. This is especially important if they had an L visa during prior stays because any time spent here with that classification is deducted from the time permitted for the H1-B classification. If the beneficiary has never been to the United States in a primary H or L status, skip this question.
4. Visa classification requested
This question is self-explanatory. Simply mark the box that matches the type of visa classification you are seeking for the beneficiary.
5. and 6. Guam-CNMI cap exemption
These questions pertain to exemptions allowed under Public Law 110-229. If you are unsure how to answer this question, contact an immigration attorney.
7. Ownership interest
In Item 7a. and 7b. USCIS wants to know if the foreign worker (beneficiary) owns the business or organization that is sponsoring his or her visa. If so, explain the basis for ownership in Item 7b. If you have any questions about the legal definition of ownership in this context, contact an immigration lawyer before answering this question.
Section 1. Complete for petitioners seeking H-1B Classification
1. What the foreign worker will be doing
Write or print a detailed explanation of the type of work the beneficiary will be doing for you.
2. Current and past work experience
Write or print a detailed explanation of the beneficiary’s current job and past work experience.
3. *Signature and date
Be sure to sign and date this form in the spaces provided at the end of this section. Note that there are spaces for additional signatures if the prospective employee will be engaged in a “specialty occupation” or working on a U.S. Department of Defense project.
Section 2. Complete for petitioners seeking H-2A or H-2B Classification
The H-2A visa classification is designated for temporary agricultural workers, and the H-2B visa classification is designated for temporary non-agricultural workers.
1. through 3. Reasons for employment
In these questions, USCIS wants to know why and how long you intend to employ the foreign worker(s).
4. through 6b. Information about beneficiary/beneficiaries
In these questions, USCIS is asking for basic information about the foreign worker/workers you intend to hire.
7. through 11. Employment/hiring practices
Here you should write or type the requested information about the methods used for hiring the worker/workers, any associated fees and so forth.
12a. and 12b. E-verify program
You should only answer this question if you are sponsoring a worker or workers for H2-A visas.
Parts A through C -- Signatures
If you are the petitioner/sponsor and you completed this form on your own, sign and date the form in the spaces provided in Part A. If you are the employer but you authorized someone else to complete and file this form for you, you should sign and date the form in the spaces provided in Part B. All “joint-employers” should provide their names, sign and date the form in the spaces provided in Part C.
Section 3. Complete for sponsors/petitioners seeking H-3 Classification
You should only fill out this section if you are sponsoring someone from another country as a trainee or special education exchange visitor. You don’t have to be an employer if you’re not going to hire the beneficiary once training is over.There is no need to sign this form.
1. through 7. Nature of training and employment (if any)
Here USCIS is asking for information about the type of training you intend to provide, and whether or not you will employee the foreign trainee once he or she finishes the training.You must provide additional details for each question that you answer affirmatively.
H-1B and H-1B1 Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement
You should fill out this form if you are an employer who is sponsoring a foreign worker for an H-1B or H-1B1 visa classification. USCIS uses the information provided to make determinations about your compliance with and exemption from certain rules.
Section 1. General information -- about the employer and the beneficiary
1a. through 1d. Information about the employer
Here USCIS is seeking certain information about the employer to help it make determinations about the application of any additional rules.
2. and 3. Information about the beneficiary
This is where you should provide the requested information about the beneficiary’s education.
4. through 6. Beneficiary’s employment
This is where you should enter the requested information about the beneficiary’s employment, including his or her salary, and any applicable occupational or industry classification codes.
Section 2. Fee Exemption and/or Determination
Section 3. Numerical Limitation Information
Section 4. Off-Site Assignment of H-1B Beneficiaries
L Classification Supplement to Form I-129You should complete this form if you are a U.S. employer (the petitioner/sponsor) who is seeking an L-1A or L-1B visa for a foreign worker (beneficiary). The U.S. government created the general (L-1) visa category for foreign workers who are being transferred between a U.S. company and its foreign “parent, subsidiary, branch and/or affiliate.” The L-1A visa is for manager and executive transferees and the L-1B visa is for transferees with “specialized knowledge.”
Basic information -- about the petitioner and beneficiary
1. through 4. Names and type of petition
In the spaces provided, write or type your name (the petitioner), the beneficiary’s name, the number of people your business employs and the information about the type of petition.
Section 1. Complete for An Individual Petition
You should only complete this section if you are seeking an L visa for a specific person.
1. Type of classification
Mark the appropriate box to indicate whether you are seeking an L-1A visa for an executive or manager, or an L-1B visa for an employee with “specialized knowledge.”
2. Length of prior stays
Print or type the requested information about the duration of the beneficiary’s prior stays (if any) and his or her dependent family member’s stays in the U.S. when they held an H or L visa. You should only provide this information for the periods in which the beneficiary and his or her dependent family members (if any) were actually here in the last seven years.
3. and 4. Information about the foreign employer
Write or type the requested information about the overseas employer in the spaces provided.
5. through 8. Information about the beneficiary’s work experience and education
This is where you should provide the requested information about the beneficiary’s work with the foreign employer, the type of work he or she will be doing for the U.S. company, and his or her education.
9. through 11. Relationship between the U.S. and foreign companies
Here, USCIS is asking for information that will prove or disprove the claimed relationship between the U.S. company and the company overseas.
12. Reason for transfer
Mark the appropriate box to indicate whether or not the beneficiary is coming here to open a new office. If not, explain why he or she is being transferred.
13. Questions pertaining to L1-B visa classifications
You should only answer this set of questions if you are seeking an L1-B visa classification for a foreign worker with “specialized knowledge.” Specifically, USCIS wants to know where he or she will be working in the United States.
Section 2. Complete for A Blanket Petition
You should only fill out this portion of the form if you are seeking continuous approval for transfers of employees from foreign to U.S. offices. As the U.S. employer (petitioner) you are only allowed to do this if your company/business has no less than three domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates. In this section, you should write or print the names of all of the foreign and U.S. parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates included in this petition.
Section 3. Additional Fees
Read the information provided in this section carefully to see which fees you must submit with this supplement and why.
O and P Classifications Supplement to Form I-129
You should complete this supplement if you are an employer (the petitioner) who is sponsoring a foreign worker (beneficiary) for one of the main O or P visa classifications. USCIS uses the information provided on this form to decide whether or not the beneficiary is eligible for the O or P visa classification requested.
General information -- about the employer (petitioner) and beneficiary
1. through 3. Names and visa classification
Write your print your name the beneficiary’s name or number of beneficiaries you are sponsoring (if more than one) and the type of O or P visa classification requested in the appropriate spaces.
4. through 7. Nature of temporary work, job duties and ownership interest
In this series of questions, USCIS is asking you to explain why the beneficiary is coming to the U.S. and what he or she will be doing here. If he or she is coming here in a supporting role, USCIS wants you to provide details. Finally, USCIS wants to know the extent of the beneficiary’s ownership of the petitioning organization (if any).
8. through 13. Written confirmation of beneficiary’s qualifications
In this set of questions, USCIS is asking about the written confirmation of the beneficiary’s qualifications from a relevant labor organization or “peer group.” If you already have it and are filing it with the petition, simply check the appropriate box. If the peer group exists but you don’t have a written assessment, you have to request one by sending a copy of the I-129 petition to that group and let USCIS know whom to contact for verification. If there is no relevant peer group, explain why not.
Section 2. Statement by the Petitioner
1. through 3. Name, signature, date and contact information
This is where you (the petitioner) should type or print your name in the spaces provided; sign and date the form; and provide your contact information.
Q-1 Classification Supplement to Form I-129
This is the shortest and easiest supplement to fill out. You should only complete it if you are a petitioner who is requesting a Q-1 visa for someone from another country (a beneficiary) who is participating in an international foreign exchange program.
General information -- about the petitioner and beneficiary
1. and 2. Your names
Type or print your name and the beneficiary’s name in the spaces provided
Section 1. Complete for a Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Alien
1. through 3. Name, signature and date, contact information
Read the information in this section carefully before signing this form. Once you have done so, print or type your name in the appropriate spaces, sign and date the form and provide your contact information.
What is the filing fee for this form?
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When am I allowed to file this form?
How long will it take USCIS to review and make a determination on this type of application?
The beneficiary is supposed to start work soon and I’m concerned that he or she won’t be able to start on time because processing takes so long. Is there any way to expedite the process?
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