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Last month, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) published an article detailing recent reports that some consular offices (COs) have been endorsing fewer than three (3) Forms I-129S in spite of 9 FAM 402.12-8(F)(b) guidelines/instructions which state that at least three (3) must be properly endorsed.

Why is this an issue?

If Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) requests and keeps the I-129S form from a Blanket L worker upon their return from traveling, the worker would then have no copy of this form. Furthermore, applicants may need a copy of the I-129S to apply for a new visa stamp.

What is a possible solution?

The Department of State (DOS) has told AILA that COs “will endorse as many forms as the applicant brings.” DOS is waiting for changes to Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations before altering FAM sections addressing Blanket L policy. Therefore, DOS recommends that if CO provides only one (1) endorsed copy of the I-129S, photocopies ought to be made as an original signature is no longer required on the I-129S.

It is imperative that if only one (1) endorsed copy of the I-129S is returned, photocopies are made prior to U.S. entry. A worker entering the U.S. with only one (1) I-129S risks having none after an encounter with a CBP officer.

Finally, AILA advises that it may be beneficial for applicants to have a copy of 9 FAM 402.12-8(F)(b) to encourage COs to provide at least two (2) endorsed forms.

Read the AILA article here: https://aila.org/infonet/practice-number-endorsed-forms-i129s