On Oct. 12, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a major change in the direct filing addresses for certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker petitions. Previously, the filing center for these petitions was determined by the U.S. state or territory where the beneficiary’s worksite or training site was located. With USCIS’s latest announcement, the filing center for most Form I-129 petitions will be determined by the primary office location of the company or organization for which the beneficiary works.
For example, for a beneficiary who works in Oregon for a company headquartered in New York, their petition should be filed at the Vermont Service Center. (Previously, this petition would have been filed at the California Service Center.)
In addition, USCIS has moved the filing location for petitioners in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas to the California Service Center.
Certain classifications of I-129 petitions are filed at one specific filing center, regardless of the location of the beneficiary or company headquarters. For example, H-1B cap exempt petitions are only accepted at the California Service Center and H-1B same employer with no change petitions are only accepted at the Nebraska Service Center.
The change in filing location is effective immediately. There will be a short grace period, but USCIS will begin rejecting petitions filed to the incorrect service center starting Nov. 11, 2017.
Please refer to USCIS’s I-129 direct filing website for more information, and the complete list of which states file at the California or Vermont Service Centers.