Form I-129 Petitioner May File Inquiry Regarding Extension/Change of Employer Petition Pending for 210 Days Or More

210 days or more

On April 16, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a news alert titled “Employers May Submit Inquiries of Extension of Status/Change of Employer Petition Has Been Pending for 210 Days or More” [PDF version].

Under the policy, the USCIS allows Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, petitioners requesting either an extension of status or change of employer to submit an inquiry after the Form I-129 has been pending for 210 days or more. The USCIS added that “[t]his inquiry may be based on the petition being outside of normal processing times.”

To make an inquiry, the employer may call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-767-1833). The USCIS advises petitioners to provide the original receipt number and to specify that the case has been pending for 210 days or more.

This new policy is generally applicable to Form I-129 extension of status or change of employer petitions that have been pending for 210 days or more. However, it may be especially useful for extension of status petitions for employers who are close to exceeding the limit of the 240-day rule [see article] and for H1B portability applicants [see article].

If an employer and/or beneficiary has case-specific questions relating to a long-pending Form I-129, he or she should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance.