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
If you are the person sponsoring the foreign worker, print or type your full name in the spaces provided here.
2. Company or Organization Name
If a business, organization or company is sponsoring the foreign worker, write or type its name in the space provided here.
3. Mailing Address of Individual, Company or Organization
Enter the full address where you (the person or business/organization) sponsoring the foreign worker get your mail.
4. Contact Information — How you can be reached
Type or print the phone number(s) and email address where you (the individual sponsor or business or organization) can be reached.
5. Other Information — Tax Identification
If you have a Federal Employer Identification Number, write or type it in the first box. If you have an Individual IRS Tax Number, write or type it in the second box. If you are an individual sponsor type or write your Social Security Number in the last box.
Part 2. Information About This Petition 👥 Type of Visa Requested
1. Requested Nonimmigrant Classification (Write classification symbol)
This is where you should enter the designation for the type of visa (visa category) requested.
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)
If you are sponsoring a band or similar type of group, this is where you should write or type its name. For example, if you are sponsoring a band called “XYZ Pop Stars” write or type that in the space provided.
2. Provide Name of Beneficiary
This is where you should provide the full name of the person you are sponsoring. Be sure to use his or her real name. Do not provide false or inaccurate information on this or any other USCIS application.
3. Provide All Other Names The Beneficiary Has Used
Be sure to enter the nicknames, aliases, maiden name, and names from all previous marriages for the person/people you are sponsoring in the space provided.
4. Other Information — About The Person You Are Sponsoring
In this section, you are asked to provide basic information about the beneficiary, including his or her gender, date of birth, citizenship/nationality, where he or she was born and so forth. If the beneficiary has had prior contact with USCIS or similar agencies and has an Alien Registration Number (A-Number), write or type it in the appropriate space.
5. Information For Beneficiaries Currently In The U.S.
You should only complete this section if the person you are sponsoring is now in the United States. You will need specific information from his or her passport and other applicable travel documents in order to fill out this section.
6. Current U.S. Address Where The Person You Are Sponsoring Now Lives
If the beneficiary lives in the United States, write or type his or her full address here. Do not provide his or her mailing address here, and do not include a post office box.
Part 4. Processing Information 📄 For Administrative Purposes
1. For Beneficiaries Outside Of The United States
If the person you are sponsoring is in another country or USCIS can’t grant certain requests (specified in the introduction to this section) indicate where you want notification about this application to be sent. You should also type or print the beneficiary’s full foreign address in the space provided.
2. Information About The Beneficiary’s Passport
This section is self-explanatory. Simply mark the box to indicate whether or not the person you are sponsoring has a passport. If he or she doesn’t have one, you must explain why that is the case.
3 through 11b. More Questions About Your Application And Beneficiary/Beneficiaries
These questions are also fairly straight forward. Here USCIS wants to know more about this particular application and the person or people you are sponsoring. Be honest. Providing false or inaccurate information on this or any other USCIS application can have serious ramifications for you and/or the beneficiary.
Part 5. 📑 Basic Information About the Proposed Employment and Employer
1 through 16. General Information About the Employer, Job, Salary, etc
This should be the easiest section of the application to complete. USCIS is simply asking for specific information about the individual or business that is filing the petition for the foreign worker. USCIS also wants to know how much the foreign worker will be paid, whether they will be employed on a part-time or full-time basis, the location where they will be working and so on.
Part 6. Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to 🖋 Foreign Persons in the United States
You should only complete this part if you are filing a petition for certain visa classifications. USCIS suggests that you read the general instructions carefully before completing this part. If you still have questions about which box to check (if any) consult an experienced immigration attorney.
Part 7. 📄 Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information
This 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
Write or type the full name of the person who is legally permitted to sign this form here.
2. Sign And Date The Form
This is where you (or the authorized representative) should sign and date this application.
3. Provide The Requested Contact Information
Enter the daytime phone number and email address for the person who signed this form in the appropriate spaces.
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
The person who prepared the form for the individual petitioner/sponsor or sponsoring business should enter their full name here.
2. Provide The Preparer’s Business Name
If the person who prepared the form has his or her own business, the name of the business should be written or typed here.
3 and 4. Provide The Preparer’s Mailing Address And Contact Information
Write or type the full address where the person who prepared the form receives his or her mail, and additional contact information as requested.
5. Preparer’s Signature And Date
This is where the person who prepared the form should sign and date it. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the application.
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
1. through 5. Basic information — Identification of Petitioner and Beneficiary Remember, you (the U.S. employer) are the petitioner. The foreign worker that you are filing the form for is the beneficiary. Print or type your name and beneficiary’s name in the spaces provided. In box No. 3, mark the appropriate visa classification and in box No. 4, write or type the name of the country that has the agreement with the United States. If you are unsure how to answer No. 5, consult an experienced immigration attorney.
Section 1. Information About the Employer Outside the United States (if any)
You must complete this part if the person you are filing for is coming here as an employee from a country with an applicable agreement with the United States. 1. through 4. Basic information — About the business These questions are self-explanatory.Write or type the name of the foreign company, the number of employees and the address in the appropriate spaces. In No. 4, USCIS is asking what the foreign company makes or sells, or what services it provides. 5. Basic information — About the employee Here, USCIS is asking for the employee’s job title, and any relevant information about his or her responsibilities, and how long he or she has worked for the company.
Section 2. Additional Information About the U.S. Employer
USCIS will use the answers provided in this section to help determine whether the beneficiary is qualified for the visa amendment or extension he or she is seeking based on certain criteria. seeking based on certain criteria. 1. through 7d. — Information pertaining to the U.S. business Provide the requested information about the relationship between the U.S. and foreign businesses, and when and where the U.S. business was incorporated. For No. 3, identify each owner of the U.S. company, the country where he or she is a citizen and his or her U.S. immigration status. For No. 4 through No. 6, provide the requested financial information and answer the questions about your U.S. employees in Question No. 7a. through d. 8. Information about the beneficiary’s role Provide the information requested about the beneficiary’s role in the U.S. company.
Section 3 – E-1 Treaty Trader
You should only answer the questions in this part if you are a U.S. employer sponsoring someone in need of an E-1 visa classification. 1. through 3. Trade and business information Simply provide the financial information requested to demonstrate the extent of the relationship between the U.S. company and applicable foreign country.
Section 4. Complete If Filing for an E-2 Treaty Investor
You should only complete this part if you are a U.S. employer sponsoring someone in need of an E-2 visa classification. Provide all of the requested information in the applicable spaces to help USCIS determine the extent of the investment.
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
1. Basis for Free Trade status request Mark the box that matches the visa classification you are requesting based on the free trade agreement and worker’s country of citizenship. Be sure that you only mark one box.
Section 2. Petitioner’s Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information
Complete this section if you are the employer who filled out this form. Type or print your name in the spaces provided in Item 1. Sign and date the form in the spaces provided for Item 2. Provide your contact information in the spaces provided for Item 3.
Section 3. Declaration, Signature, and Contact Information of Person Preparing Form
If someone else (such as an attorney) completed this form for you based on information you provided they should complete this section. Items 1 through 4 are self-explanatory. Sign and date the form in the spaces provided for Item 5.
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
In this section, USCIS is asking for specific information about the employer petitioner in a series of nine “yes/no” questions to determine if you have to pay the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fee and if so, how much.
Section 3. Numerical Limitation Information
In this section, USCIS is asking for the information it needs to determine if the H-1B cap applies to your petition. The federal government created this cap to restrict the number of annual approvals. A set number of petitions are set aside for beneficiaries with a Master’s degree or higher related to the occupation. Employers that meet certain criteria are also exempt from the cap. There are only three questions (each of which has several parts) in this section.
Section 4. Off-Site Assignment of H-1B Beneficiaries
There are just three questions in this section. Basically, USCIS wants to know where the beneficiary will be working. If he or she will be working at more than one place, the employer must pay a wage equal to or greater than the prevailing wage at all locations where he or she will work.
L Classification Supplement to Form I-129
You 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?
Do I have to provide supporting documents or evidence with this petition?
Yes, you do. The proof you must provide will depend on what type of visa classification you are seeking.
When am I allowed to file this form?
You can do so six months prior to the foreign worker’s first day on the job.
How long will it take USCIS to review and make a determination on this type of application?
That depends on the type of visa classification sought and the unique circumstances of each case.
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?
Yes. In these circumstances you may be able to pay an additional fee and request premium processing, which only takes 15 days.
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