New USCIS Fees are in Effect and Revised I-129 Form is Live

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – December 3, 2010 On November 23, 2010, the USCIS activated a new fee schedule and also released a revised I-129 form.

Updated Fee Schedule

According to the USCIS, the new fee schedule raises filing fees approximately 10% on average.  Very notable for employment-based Petitioners and Applicants is the change to the premium processing filing fee which increased from $1000 to $1225.  Under premium processing a case must be adjudicated or additional evidence requested within 15 days of filing.  Premium processing went into effect in 2001 and the filing fee remained static at $1000 for the 9 years since then until this change. 

The new fee schedule can be found in a Public Release by the USCIS.  

Revised I-129 Form

The newly revised I-129 form was released by the USCIS on November 23, 2010, but the prior edition will still be accepted until December 22, 2010.  The I-129 form is used for filing a petition with the USCIS for E, H, L, O, P, Q, R, and TN statuses.  There is a basic I-129 form that is used for all applicable petitions as well as one or more supplements to attach to the I-129, depending on the requested classification.

One timely addition to the forms are checkbox attestations on the L and H Data Collection Supplements that allow a Petitioner to indicate directly on the form whether or not it is subject to the additional filing fees imposed under Public Law 111-230.   

Another timely addition is that the revised basic I-129 form and the I-129 H-1B Data Collection Supplement each include questions about whether the beneficiary will be working off-site.  Pursuant to direction from a January 2010 memo, the USCIS has issued numerous Requests for Evidence (RFEs) regarding the issues of management control of the Beneficiary and possible off-site placement in the H-1B context.  These new forms may help answer these questions up-front and reduce potential RFEs.

The revised I-129 form also requires a new Petitioner attestation regarding controlled technology or technical data that must be made for H-1B, H-1B1 Chile/Singapore, L-1, and O-1A petitions.  The export from the U.S. of certain forms of technology and data is regulated by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The definition of “export” includes access of the technology or data by a foreign national, whether or not he is actively removing the property abroad.  A Petitioner must certify via checkbox on the revised I-129 form that either 1) a license is not required to release the technology or data to the foreign national or 2) that a license is required but that the Petitioner will prevent access of the controlled technology or data by the beneficiary until such a license or other authorization is obtained.  It is important to note that the attestation on the revised I-129 form does not change any prior export control laws but merely requires a Petitioner to actively attest that it is compliant with the regulations.

The revised I-129 form and instructions may be found at:

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2010