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Answering Export Control Questions on Form I-129 Delayed Until February 20, 2011

Today, USCIS announced that employer/petitioners will not be required to complete Part 6 of newly revised Form I-129 until Feb. 20, 2011. Part 6 pertains to Controlled Technology and Technical Data questions. Due to the many inquiries USCIS received from stakeholders about how to answer the questions, USCIS has extended the time in which employers must be able to answer the question.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Employers Must Know Export Control Rules When Sponsoring Employees, USCIS introduced a substantially revised I-129 form on November 23, 2010. The I-129 form is used for a number of temporary nonimmigrant business visas. Two new export control questions in Part 6 ask employers to verify under oath that they have read the various export control rules and have determined that they are or are not required to have an export license for a particular employee. The questions apply only to petitioners for H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, and O-1A visas. Today is the last day previous editions of the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, must be postmarked. Starting tomorrow, December 23, 2010, employers must use the Form I-129 with a Nov. 23, 2010 revision date or they will be rejected. However, Part 6 with the critical export control questions will not have to be answered until February 20, 2011. The reprieve is probably more useful for employers not normally subject to export control rules because they still have to answer the questions and verify under oath that they are not subject to them. One would think that most companies normally engaged in critical technologies already know if they need export licenses in the normal course of doing business. But some start-up companies may not realize the reach of the rules into the immigration area now.