I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides many different types of visas to immigrants who want to enter the U.S. under various specific circumstances. The visas that are available through an application process can be for vacations, permanent relocation or employment purposes. One of the forms USCIS offers regarding employment is the I-129 Petition, which is a request to hire a nonimmigrant worker.

Business employers who want to request that an nonimmigrant worker be allowed to enter the country for a temporary period of time file I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker forms. This petition permits the nonimmigrant worker to perform specialized services or labor or to receive training in a specified field. The I-129 petition may also be used by an employer to request an extension of stay for a worker, or to change the status of an already-admitted employee from a different visa type, like the E-1, E-2 or TN visas, to the I-129.

Businesses are required to fill out the 26-page form and pay the filing fee of $325. Additional fees may apply depending on individual situations, but the prospective employer is responsible for paying those fees. To avoid any problems with filing, employers must determine whether the immigrant worker is currently in the U.S. or abroad. They must then check the proper box to instruct USCIS to either send the approval letter to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the worker’s home country, or to change or extend the worker’s status if they are currently residing in the United States. There are some cases in which the worker may be in the U.S. but is not eligible to change or extend their status, so the company should verify the employee’s location and then check the appropriate box on the form.

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