USCIS Ombudsman’s Office Makes Recommendation on I-129

The Ombudsman’s office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an office within USCIS with a mandate to act as an intermediary with users of USCIS for resolving issues, identify systemic problems and trends, and recommend changes to the agency, has issued a recommendation to USCIS that foreign national Beneficiaries of I-129 Petitions for Nonimmigrant Worker forms receive separate notifications of case activity.

The I-129 form is used to apply for most work visas submitted through US Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1B, L-1, E-1/E-2/E-3, TN, O-1, P-1/P-2/P-3, Q, etc.)  Typically, notifications are sent only to the petitioner – generally the employer – and to any attorney of record.

The Ombudsman’s office notes (correctly, in our view) that since approval notices for changes, extensions, and amendments to status typically contain a new I-94 which governs the beneficiary’s status, the current practice is problematic as it leaves foreign nationals dependent on petitioner/employers and attorneys for receipt of status documents – documents that these foreign nationals are actually legally required to possess.

This is the Ombudsman’s office’s first recommendation of 2022.  USCIS is required to respond within 90 days, but is not required to accept the recommendation.