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USCIS Delays Deemed Export Certification on New I-129


The new edition of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, took effect on December 23, 2010, as previously announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The form is used to file nonimmigrant petitions for employees in categories such as H-1B, L-1 and O-1. The new edition has a revision date of November 23, 2010.

Part 6 of the new I-129 contains a new “Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to Foreign Persons in the United States.” The employer must certify, with respect to any technology to which the employee will have access on the job, that a license from the Departments of Commerce or State is not required to release the technology to the foreign national (or, in the rare case that a license is required, the employer will restrict the beneficiary’s access to the technology until a license is obtained). Until February 20, 2011, petitioners may leave Part 6 blank.

As background, U.S. law prohibits the export of controlled technology and technical data to certain foreign nationals located within the United States without a license to do so. U.S. law treats as an export the release of controlled technology or technical data to a foreign national working in the United States, even if the company does not export anything overseas. Technology or source code is considered released for export when it is made available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading technical specifications, plans, or blueprints), when technology is exchanged orally, or when technology is made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology. Such exports of controlled technology or technical data must be authorized through an export license issued by the Commerce or State Department before release to the nonimmigrant foreign national. To properly complete the new I-129 form, an employer must first classify the technology or technical data that will be released to or be accessed by a prospective foreign national employee to determine whether an export license may be required.

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For additional advice on the new I-129 and deemed export attestations, contact Ivener & Fullmer at (310) 477-3000.

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