USCIS Announces Temporary Change in H1-B Petition Submissions

The USCIS recently released a policy memorandum accepting reproduced signatures on all H1-B petitions submitted after March 21, 2020. This covers all benefit forms and petitions that had previously required a mandatory original or ‘wet’ signature, particularly the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

USCIS Releases A New Form-129

Here’s what you need to know about the changes

After CDC declared the Coronavirus a pandemic and the US government declared it National Emergency, the only way to combat the spread of this deadly virus was to create social distancing among people. This prompted USCIS to suspend its in-person services and close all it field offices and Application Service Centers.

The USCIS offices are scheduled to reopen on June 4, 2020.

This submission date coincides with the FY2021 H1-B lottery cap document submission deadlines.  On March 20th, the initial online registration of all prospective H1-B petitions closed and USCIS announced the selected names by March 30th. These 200,000 selected H1-B beneficiaries have until June 30, 2020 to submit their final, and completed H1-B petitions including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

How Can You Increase Your Chances Of Getting Selected for the H1-B Lottery Cap?

Here’show to make a strong H1-B Petition

What Does “Reproduced Signatures” Mean?

USCIS will now accept Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker that may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature.

USCIS will accept such electronically reproduced original signatures for the duration of the National Emergency. 

This policy memorandum is a temporary change only and applies only to signatures. All other form instructions remain the same and should be followed when completing the Form I-129. 

Specifics of the Temporary Rule

  • The original signature should be a “wet” signature and signed by the beneficiary only. USCIS will reject any document in which signatures are created by a typewriter, word processor, stamp, auto-pen, or similar device.
  • USCIS reserves the right to reject the form or document if they determine that the signature on a request is invalid.
  • Even if USCIS accepts a document for initial adjudication, they have the rights to deny the request if they find that the signature is either missing or that the provided “signature” is deficient.
  • Most importantly, if the electronically reproduced signature is deemed insufficient at the time of submission, USCIS will not give the petitioner another opportunity to fix it and amend the document.
  • Lastly, every petitioner should retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature as USCIS may request the original documents at any time. 
  • Again, USCIS reserves the right to reject entire petition wherein it was not submitted with original wet signatures when requested for.