On February 20, 2011, the USCIS implemented the new Form I-129, which asks sponsoring employers to certify that they are in compliance with all export control regulations. On April 8, 2011, the U.S. Commerce Department ("USCD") issued an advisory that clarified the responsibilities of staffing agencies in connection with the nonimmigrant petition process. Many staffing agencies petition for nonimmigrant workers who are then placed at a third-party client site. In these situations, there is a question as to whether the sponsoring employer or the third-party employer has the responsibility to ensure export control compliance.
The USCD's guidance indicates that the third-party client is responsible for obtaining whatever authorization is required for the "deemed" export of controlled technology or source code subject to the Export Administration Regulations. The USCD stated that, since the third-party client, not the sponsoring employer, was responsible for allowing the FN access to the technology or source code, the third-party client had to satisfy all export control requirements.