The I-129 H-2B Application is the Final Step in Certification
If you’ve been following our blog our Youtube Channel, you know that we represent employers who seek to utilize the H-2B visa program for the benefit of their business. Our series has taken you through the program with an overview as well as some of the major steps and common pitfalls of the application process. Parts one through three are below, and today’s post, part 4 of the I-129 H-2B Guide series filing wraps up the series.
- Part 1: The Ultimate H-2B Certification Primer
- Part 2: Mastering the Prevailing Wage Determination
- Part 3: The 9142 and Temporary Foreign Labor Certification
Today’s video and post going to wrap up our series by discussing the I-129 document that an employer must file with USCIS. This is the final major step of the application process that the employer must complete.
I-129 H-2B Application is a USCIS-based Step
If you watched our last video, you know that the Department of Labor issues their final decision on an employer’s application. However, this decision is not determinative, and USCIS ultimately can agree or disagree with the DOL’s decision (though they rarely do in practice). So regardless of your 9142 final decision, this I-129 can be filed with CIS.
The I-129 is a rather lengthy document of about 35 pages.
However, much of the I-129 is not applicable to the H-2B program, so you’ll need to be careful as you fill out the form.
H-2B Guide Tip: What goes in the I-129 for is Unique for All Visa Categories
Most of the I-129 is the same information you included in your 9141 PWD Document and your 9142B.
What really differentiates the I-129 is the information that an employer must provide regarding the beneficiaries of the H-2B Visa. The beneficiaries are the workers who will be allowed to come to the United States and work for the employer.
The I-129 requires that if the employer knows who its beneficiaries will be, then their personal information must be provided in the I-129. This includes Name, Address, # of dependents, Which consulate they will go to in their foreign country, etc.
In addition to the physical I-129, the employer must also include:
- A copy of its final decision from the DOL.
- A signed 9142 Appendix B
- Recruiter information and agreement
- Recruitment Report
- Statement of Temporary Need
- Check with filing and expedite fee ($1835.00 as of 10/23/2017)
And forgive me if we’ve left something out. Essentially any document you ever submitted to the DOL must now be submitted to CIS. As well as your I-129 of course.
The I-129 H-2B application is not cheap
And let’s not forget the check. Your check will need to be a cashier’s check made out the the Department of Homeland Security.
The check will be fore $1835.00? If you choose premium processing–you need to choose premium processing.
The I-129 H-2B is NOT Paper-lite
Oh, and don’t forget, you’ll need to send two copies of your entire packet.
Oh and it needs to be mailed. Not e-mailed, but mailed.
So if you’ve been paying attention, you know that a statement of need can easily be over 200 pages. I think without doing the full math, it’s safe to say that an average application is greater than 250 pages. Now multiply that by 2 and you’re looking at 500 pages of paper that must be mailed to your applicable processing center.
And because we want to move as quickly as possible for our clients, we always do overnight shipping, which is around $100-150/package.
Dealing with RFE’s Sent by USCIS
And we’d like to tell you that all this ensures that your application will be looked at closely and fairly and if there is some issue you’ll get an e-mail explaining the issue and providing you a chance to remedy the error.
However, that is not the case. If there is a believed error, you can expect CIS to mail back your packet. Not overnight of course. You must then correct the alleged issue, and mail it back to CIS–Overnight of course.
As you can probably tell, there are many stages of the H-2B application process that frustrates us.
Can you do this yourself?
If you watched our first video in this series, we asked the question “Can an Employer do this themselves or without an attorney?”
Our answer is still the same. Yes, yes you can. But not if you want to successfully run your business. Hopefully this video series is helpful for those who decide they can tackle an application process by themselves, but we also hope it makes those folks think hard about hiring help.