I-129 is the form for Petitioners (US companies/employers) filing on behalf of a foreigner to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners may also use this form to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for an alien.
Form I-129 must be filed by the US companies/employer, not by the foreign employees. Usually there must be an employment offer to substantiate the petition filing.
Along with a valid passport and visa (if applicable), the alien beneficiary should carry the following documents when traveling to the United States:
- Form I-797 USCIS petition approval notice or
- A copy of the approved Form I-129S (if applicable)
The foreign beneficiary should present this documentation to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when seeking entry or re-entry into the United States in the approved I-129 petition employment classification.
Please note: Evidence of a petition approval is not a visa and the alien beneficiary must possess the appropriate nonimmigrant visa, if one is required, before applying for admission into the United States.
When a foreign beneficiary with an approved I-129 petition is admitted to the United States, CBP grants the foreign beneficiary a period of stay documented on Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document.
If the expiration date on the Form I-94 ends before the validity period of the I-129 petition (as shown on the I-797 approval notice) one of the following must occur before the expiration date on the Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document:
- A request for an extension of stay must be filed on behalf of the alien using Form I-129; or
- An application for some other immigration benefit that would allow the alien to remain in the United States must be filed; or
- The alien must depart the United States.
If the foreigner’s stay is limited as described above, any dependent family members who accompanied or followed to join the alien must also: (a) request an extension of stay using Form I-539; (b) apply for some other immigration benefit that would allow the family member to remain in the United States; or (c) depart the United States, before the expiration date on the family member’s Form I-94 or the date noted in the family member’s passport or travel document.
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