Mar 5 2007
USCIS Announces Direct Filing Procedure for Forms I-129 and I-539, Effective April 2, 2007
Today, the USCIS announced new direct filing instructions for a range of immigration forms recently transitioned into the Bi-Specialization Initiative, which had, before this time, required that applications/petitions be filed at a single, centralized location, then distributed to alternate service centers for receipt notice issuance and final case processing.
These new procedures will affect, among other forms, the Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers, I-129, and the Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status, I-539. Direct filing in relation to other forms will be implemented piecemeal as all application forms are transitioned into the Bi-Specialization Initiative.
According to the newly published procedure, all applicants should Direct File their applications/petitions with the service center that will process their filings. This service center is based on their location of temporary employment or place of residence. The service center that receives their form will also be the place that creates the receipt notice and conducts final processing of their case.
As of April 2, 2007, all I-129 and I-539 forms should be filed directly with either the California or Vermont Service Center. Applicants are required to file their forms with the applicable center; applicants should also verify that they use the correct filing address (this information should be on the instructions of each form).
All employers that request premium processing of Form I-129 should also file a Request for Premium Processing Services, Form I-907. USCIS has provided guidance that they will accept these two forms filed in accordance with the old filing instructions during the first two weeks of the Direct Filing process. However, if these forms are filed to an incorrect filing location on or after April 17, 200, they will be rejected and returned to the applicant with the fee, along with instructions for correct filing procedures.