Form I-129 Visa Petition

Employers must certify compliance with U.S. export licensing requirements when petitioning for H-1B, H1-B1, L-1, and O-1A visa classifications on behalf of employees.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-129 (Rev. 11/23/10) — Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker — includes an export compliance certification in Part 6 of the form. Affected employees requiring the export certification could include faculty, postdoctoral candidates, technicians, or other staff categories. This certification is not required for student (F-1) or visiting scholar (J-1) visa petitions.

Understanding the Certification

When UNC Asheville makes technology or technical data accessible to a foreign national, it is considered a release of the technology or technical data for export. This release of technology is referred to as a “deemed export,” as the export is deemed to have taken place, even though nothing was literally transmitted or exported across the U.S. border. UNC Asheville may be required to obtain a government license before the foreign national is permitted to work with or have access to the covered technologies or technical data.

UNC Asheville is required to certify that:

  1. A license is not required from either the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the foreign person; or
  2. A license is required from the U.S. Department of Commerce and/or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the beneficiary and the petitioner will prevent access to the controlled technology or technical data by the beneficiary until and unless the petitioner has received the required license or other authorization to release it to the beneficiary.

Completing the Certification

The prospective employee’s faculty sponsor or supervisor will complete and submit a I-129 Deemed Export Questionnaire with questions about the work planned for the employee (proposed duties in the United States). UNC Asheville’s Export Control Officer will review the Export Administration Regulations (EAR 15 CFR 730-774) and/or International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR 22 CFR 120-130) to determine whether or not a U.S. government export license is needed to release export controlled technology or technical data to your employee. When applicable, the Export Control Officer may collaborate with General Counsel and administrators to determine the appropriate action needed to facilitate the I-129 application. When the review is complete, the export officer will certify the Deemed Export Certification Form and advise the Office of the Provost as to whether a license IS or IS NOT required.

If an export license is needed from the Commerce Department or State Department for your employee, the Export Control Officer can prepare license requests and submit them on behalf of the University. Bear in mind though, filing for export licenses takes time (45 to 90 days after license application) for approval from the government after filing. Failure to obtain the appropriate license or other government approval, or failure to file correct export information on the visa petition, can have civil and criminal penalties.