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USCIS Form I-1402024-01-11T09:40:14+00:00

Mastering Form I-140: A Comprehensive Guide for Immigrant Worker Petitions

Embarking on the journey towards permanent residency in the United States can be complex, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is a crucial stepping stone on this path. Understanding this form is not just important—it’s essential.

Key Takeaways

  • Form I-140 is utilized by U.S. employers to petition for foreign workers under employment-based visa categories such as EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3, with the employer confirming the ability to pay the prevailing wage and the beneficiary’s qualifications.
  • Documentation required with Form I-140 includes evidence of the beneficiary’s extraordinary ability, financial information from the employer, education and work experience proof, and, if applicable, a full translation of non-English documents.
  • Form I-140 applicants may utilize Premium Processing for a faster review, typically within 15 days for an additional fee, and have various payment options for the form’s filing fee, including online payments, checks, and money orders.

Understanding Form I-140: Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Form I-140 is a significant component in the employment-based green card process. These immigration forms are used by employers in the United States to petition for the immigration of foreign workers through Citizenship and Immigration Services. The individual or organization submitting the form is known as the petitioner, while the foreign national being sponsored is the beneficiary.

The employer’s role in the process is pivotal, as they verify their ability to pay the prevailing wage and confirm that the beneficiary possesses the necessary qualifications for the job. The beneficiaries of this form are foreign workers who are classified under specific employment-based visa categories like EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3.

Eligibility Criteria for Form I-140

Eligibility for Form I-140 is determined by various employment-based visa categories. These categories, also known as visa category options, include:

  • Extraordinary ability
  • Outstanding professors and researchers
  • Advanced degree holders
  • Exceptional ability
  • Skilled workers
  • Professionals
  • Unskilled workers

Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors, and Researchers

The EB-1 category caters to individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors, and researchers. These individuals must provide evidence of significant achievements and recognition in their respective fields.

The ‘extraordinary ability’ standard of the EB-1 category requires individuals to showcase exceptional expertise and recognition in their field that surpasses the norm. For instance, receiving an Academy Award, Olympic Medal, or Nobel Prize would be illustrative accomplishments meeting the criteria of the EB-1 category.

Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability

The EB-2 category encompasses individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field. This category necessitates proof of their qualifications and labor certification.

The advanced degree must be a requirement for the job being applied for, and the applicant must hold such a degree or its foreign equivalent. The labor certification process involves the submission of a certified Application for Permanent Employment Certification.

Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers

The EB-3 category covers skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. Applicants in this category are required to provide evidence of relevant experience or education and have labor certification.

To qualify as a skilled worker, the ability to perform skilled labor requiring at least 2 years of training or experience is necessary. Labor certification for the EB-3 category in Form I-140 entails acquiring an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089. It is essential to be aware of the labor certification’s validity period to avoid having expired labor certifications filed, as this may cause delays or complications in the process.

Required Documentation for Form I-140 Submission

Documentation of extraordinary ability or achievements, financial details, and evidence of education and work experience are essential supporting documents to validate the beneficiary’s qualifications. The employer is required to provide financial data as part of the required documentation to demonstrate their ability to pay the proffered wage to the employee.

The labor certification process entails:

  • The employer conducting a test of the U.S. employment market
  • Advertising the position in accordance with DOL guidelines
  • Interviewing any eligible U.S. workers

Non-English documents should also be provided with a complete translation that includes the translator’s signature and contact information.

Filling Out and Submitting Form I-140

Form I-140 is available on the USCIS website, and using the most recent and correct version is imperative. If internet access is not available, Form I-140 can be obtained by contacting the USCIS and requesting a customer service representative to mail the form directly.

While filling out Form I-140, general information about the applicant and the intended position must be provided. In order to hire a worker through a visa program, the employer needs to

provide a detailed description of the applicant’s qualifications. Additionally, they must show that they have the ability to pay the worker at or above the prevailing wage. If a particular question on Form I-140 is not applicable to the applicant, the appropriate response would be to answer with ‘N/A’ or ‘Not Applicable’.

Form I-140 Fees and Payment Options

The filing fee associated with filing Form I-140 is $700. Acceptable payment methods include:

  • Credit or debit card using Form G-1450
  • U.S. money order
  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check

Alternatively, the payment for Form I-140 can also be made online through pay.gov.

If you choose to pay through check or money order, it should be dated and made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The payment should be included with the application submission.

Premium Processing Service for Form I-140

For eligible Form I-140 applicants, the Premium Processing Service guarantees an initial review within 15 days for an additional fee of $2,500. This service is beneficial for accelerating the process of acquiring lawful permanent resident status, particularly when the standard Form I-140 processing time exceeds the visa number availability time.

Premium Processing can be requested by submitting Form I-907 to the Service Center where the Form I-140 is pending, even if it is already under normal processing. If USCIS fails to complete the processing within the designated 15-day period, they will reimburse the fee and continue to expedite the petition.

Form I-140 Processing Times and Status Updates

Form I-140 typically takes about four months to process, a timeline influenced by factors like the petition’s priority date.

Applicants can verify their case status by utilizing the USCIS case status tool. This tool provides an online platform for applicants to monitor the status of their Form I-140.

Potential Outcomes and Next Steps after Form I-140 Submission

Potential outcomes following the submission of Form I-140 can range from:

  • Approval
  • Denial
  • Request for Evidence (RFE)
  • Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

When an applicant receives an approved Form I-140, it enables them to pursue an employment-based immigrant visa or apply for permanent residency in the United States through immigration services by submitting Form I-485.

Upon receipt of a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), the petitioner is required to provide a suitable response, which USCIS will consider in the determination of the petition’s final outcome, including the possibility of a national interest waiver.

In the event of a denial or revocation, the petitioner may reapply or appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

Concurrent Filing of Form I-485 with Form I-140

It is permissible to file Form I-140 concurrently with Form I-485. The designated filing address for Form I-140 varies depending on whether it is being submitted independently or concurrently with Form I-485, and may vary by state for Premium Processing.

Summary

Understanding Form I-140 is crucial for anyone seeking to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States through employment. This guide has illuminated the process, from understanding Form I-140, eligibility criteria, and the required documentation to filing the form, the associated fees, and potential outcomes. Remember, while this process may seem daunting, each step brings you closer to achieving your American Dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Form I-140 used for?2024-01-04T07:21:57+00:00
Form I-140 is used to sponsor an immigrant worker for a green card based on employment, allowing them to work full-time permanently in the United States. It is filed after the Department of Labour approves the PERM labor certification.
Is I-140 same as green card?2024-01-04T07:22:32+00:00
No, the I-140 is a form for an employment-based green card application, not the green card itself. The green card is the physical card that shows someone’s permanent residency status.
How long does it take for I-140 to get approved?2024-01-04T07:23:10+00:00
It typically takes four to six months for an I-140 petition to get approved by USCIS.
What is the benefit I-140?2024-01-04T07:24:08+00:00
The Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is used to classify an alien beneficiary as eligible for an immigrant visa based on employment. It also enables indefinite 3-year extensions, allowing spouses on the dependent H-4 visa to apply for an employment authorization document.
What are the potential results following the submission of Form I-140?2024-01-04T07:24:48+00:00
The potential results following the submission of Form I-140 may include approval, denial, Request for Evidence (RFE), or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). It is important to be prepared for any of these outcomes.

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