USCIS Workload Transfer for Certain H-1B, H-1B1 and H-4 Petitions

On July 1, 2016, in an effort to transfer the workload, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) began accepting certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker for H-1B and H-1B1 petitions, as well as Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants that are concurrently filed with a Form I-129. The petitions the NSC will be accepting are those in which the petitioner requests a “continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” with a request to: notify the office so the beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted; extend the stay of the beneficiary because the beneficiary now holds this status; or extend the status of a nonimmigrant classification based on a free trade agreement.

The California (CSC) and Vermont (VSC) service centers will continue to accept the above Form I-129 petitions, and any concurrently filed Forms I-539 and I-765 applications, during the transition period until August 31. Starting September 1, however, only the NSC will accept them. USCIS may reject any misfiled petitions or applications.

Additionally, the following Form I-129 (“continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer”) petitions have not been transferred to the NSC and will continue to be accepted only at the CSC:

  • The petition is for an employer that is statutorily exempt from the cap; or
  • The beneficiary is employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization.

The NSC will also accept any concurrently filed H-4 Form I-539, as well as concurrently filed Form I-765, for certain H-4 nonimmigrants who are filing Form I-129. Applicants filing a standalone Form I-539 and/or Form I-765 for H-4 nonimmigrants should refer to the Filing Addresses for Form I-539 listed on the USCIS website.

Employers should continue to file all other H-1B/H-1B1 petitions with the CSC and the VSC based on the instructions that can be found through the link at Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129 page.

If you would like more information on these changes, please contact our office at 856-222-0130.

Call us at (856) 222-0130