I-129 Export Control Certification:
What Is "Part 6", and Why-When-How Do We Answer It?

(print version)

  • New I-129 - Effective February 20, 2011

On this date, a new version of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services' Form I-129 must be used to petition for visas for foreign nationals whom we would like to employ at Hopkins.

Part 6 of the new I-129 asks for a certification connected with "export controls" at JHU, which involve an area of Federal regulation with which you may not be familiar. Part 6 can be accurately completed only with thoughtful input from the hiring department and the Export Control Office.

Failure to comply with U.S. export control regulations can bring steep criminal and/or civil penalties to both JHU and its employees. Please use the guidance below to begin working with your Hopkins visa-support contacts and the Export Control Office in order to ensure that Part 6 is properly completed in advance of the February deadline and thereafter.

  • I-129, Part 6, Applies Only to H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, or O-1A Visas

    Although it is important that every JHU employee have a basic understanding of what the U.S. Government allows us to share with other countries or their citizens - via its "export control" regulations - it is not vital that you read the information that follows unless you need to request that one of these visa types be provided for a prospective employee.

  • What is an "Export Control Certification"

Part 6 of the I-129 is formally referred to as a Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to Foreign Persons in the United States. At Hopkins, we have informally been referring to it more generally as an "Export Control Certification".

Regardless of what you call it, Part 6 requires certification that any "technology" or "technical data" that Hopkins personnel (across all divisions and schools) expect to release to a prospective foreign national employee will or will not require a license from the Federal Government before it can be released.

Notwithstanding the need to complete the I-129, it is important that JHU personnel understand how the Federal Government defines "technology" and "technical data" in the export control regulations and that they monitor their release of such information to their foreign national employees.

  • Why is Departmental Input Required to Complete the Certification?

The Federal Government imposes significant criminal and civil penalties on those who release restricted technical information to other countries or to their citizens, even when foreign nationals are legally working for/with us in the United States. The departmental personnel who will be directing the work of our foreign national employees are in the best position to describe the tangible and intangible items with which the foreign national employees will work. The Export Control Office can use such descriptions to determine the likelihood that a license will be required to share certain kinds of technical information with our foreign national employees.

Here is what I-129, Part 6 looks like:


  • How Will We Work Together to Ensure that I-129, Part 6 is Completed Appropriately?

    1. As before, a Hopkins department, institute, etc. will determine that it needs to employ a particular foreign national.

    2. Also as before, the department will notify its "International Office" of such personnel needs.
    3. If the International Office determines that an H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile & Singapore), L-1, or O-1A visa will be necessary to hire the requested foreign national, it will make available to the department
    4. The department will, as needed, communicate with the JHU Export Control Office until the Export Review Supplement is signed by the necessary departmental personnel (see SECTION A - "Instructions" - of the Export Review Supplement).

    5. The department will send a scanned copy of the signed Export Review Supplement to the Export Control Office, which will then, upon approval of the department's submission, circulate a formal recommendation for answering Part 6 of the I-129, per the routing preferences of the department's International Office.

    6. Once the International Office is in receipt of the Export Control Office's recommendation, it will complete and submit the I-129 to the USCIS according to its existing policies and practices.