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USCIS Form I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Worker

Effective February 20, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-129 (Rev. 11/23/10) – Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker now requires U.S. employers to certify their compliance with U.S. export licensing requirements when petitioning for H-1B, H1-B1, L-1, and O-1A visa classifications on behalf of employees.

Affected employees requiring the export certification may include faculty, post-doctoral candidates, technicians, or other staff categories. This certification is not required for student (F-1) or Visiting Scholar (J-1) visa petitions.

When UH makes technology or technical data accessible to a foreign national, it is considered a release of the technology or technical data for export. This release of technology is referred to as a "deemed export," as the export is deemed to have taken place, even though nothing was literally transmitted or exported across the U.S. border. Sometimes a license may be required from the appropriate government regulatory agency before the foreign national is permitted to work with or have access to the covered technologies or technical data.

Under the new mandate, UH is required to certify that:

  • A license is not required from either the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the foreign person; or
  • A license is required from the U.S. Department of Commerce and/or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the beneficiary and the petitioner will prevent access to the controlled technology or technical data by the beneficiary until and unless the petitioner has received the required license or other authorization to release it to the beneficiary.

During this process, Human Resources (HR) will provide information from your visa petition to the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG). OCG staff will review the employee’s prospective work or research to determine whether or not a U.S. Government issued export license is needed to release export controlled technology or technical data to the employee.

When OCG’s review is complete, OCG will certify as to whether or not a license is required so that the correct box is checked in Part 6 of the form.

If an export license is needed from the Commerce Department or State Department for your employee, OCG can prepare the license requests and submit them on behalf of UH. Please note that filing for an export license takes anywhere from 15 to 30 days after the license application and possibly longer for government approval. Failure to obtain the appropriate license or other government approval, or failure to file correct export information on the visa petition can result in civil and criminal penalties for UH and the individual(s) involved. OCG and HR are available to help you with questions regarding this process so that your visa certification is in compliance with applicable laws