New Rule for Filing Form I-129

USCIS recently published a notice providing a new filing procedure for I-129 and I-140 petitions. Starting April 1, all I-129 petitions are to be filed with the Vermont Service Center, and all I-140 petitions are to be filed at the Nebraska Service Center.

Applications that are concurrently filed (e.g. I-539 applications that are filed for the family members of I-129 beneficiaries; and I-485 applications that can be concurrently filed with I-140 petitions) will continue to be filed concurrently.

Once an I-129 petition is filed, the Vermont Service Center will either adjudicate it or forward it to the California Service Center for adjudication. Similarly, once an I-140 petition is filed, the Nebraska Service Center will either adjudicate it or forward it to the Texas Service Center for adjudication. The Petitioner or Applicant will receive a Receipt Notice from the service center that is adjudicating the case.

This new filing system replaces a system where most employment-based petitions were filed at the service center with jurisdiction over the state where the propsed emlployment would take place. One exception to this rule was that non-immigrant workers seeking to change to or extend TN status had to file an I-129 petition at the Nebraska Service Center, regardless of the location of employment.

Under the new filing system, I-129 petitions for TN status must be filed at the Vermont Service Center along with all other I-129 petitions. It is noteworthy that the Nebraska Service Center was the only service center with any experience adjudicating TN applications. Now that I-129 TN Petitions will be adjudicated at either the Vermont or the California Service Center (offices with no experience in adjudicating TN petitions) applicants may reconsider renewing or changing to TN status at a POE land border or PFI.