CIS Ombudsman Issues Formal Recommendation to USCIS on Form I-129

Dear Stakeholder,

On March 31, 2022, the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) submitted a formal recommendation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding issuing notices to beneficiaries of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, who are amending, extending, or changing their status.  

The Issue  

Currently, USCIS does not provide Form I-129 beneficiaries with notice of USCIS actions taken, such as receipt notices, approval letters, or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. USCIS provides these documents only to the beneficiaries’ employers or the employers’ legal representatives, despite the fact that the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the beneficiary be issued and carry Form I-94 at all times.  

This means that beneficiaries must rely on employers for all information regarding the petition. For beneficiaries who are amending, extending, or changing status, the lack of direct notification may leave them without status documentation, rendering them noncompliant with the law, susceptible to abuse by employers, and unable to access benefits requiring proof of status.   

Our Recommendation  

For all Form I-129 beneficiaries who are amending, extending, or changing their status, we recommend that USCIS directly notify them of actions taken on the petition. The formal recommendation provides an overview of the Form I-129 petition process, outlines key issues of concern, and proposes measures to address those concerns.  

As part of our mandate, we make recommendations with the goal of influencing change and improving the services administered by USCIS. After we make a formal recommendation, USCIS is required by statute to respond within three months.  

More Information 

DHS link: