i 140: Everything You Need to Know
Petition I-140 begins the process for an immigrant to receive a visa for working in the USA.8 min read
What is an I-140?
Petition I-140 begins the process for an immigrant to receive a visa for working in the USA. Known as a possible first step to qualifying for a green card (I-485) it sets in motion the ability to work in the USA legally for a temporary period.
An individual can file the petition or an employer on behalf of someone can file the petition. Certain areas in the USA labor force have shortages, or the immigrant has an extraordinary set of skills the country wishes to benefit from. USA employers file the petition for professors or researchers who have become internationally recognized.
Often exceptional managers or executives at corporation level enter the USA with the document I-140. Immigrants with advanced degrees in science and art also qualify as well as workers with specialize training. Even unskilled workers have been eligible for the petition in shortage areas. The early beginnings of the idea began in the USA during the 1940s due to the labor shortages. The USA started guest worker programs such as the Bracero program with Mexico that brought 4.6 million to help the industry.
At the beginning of the process, a PERM Labor Certificate must receive approval. A PERM labor certificate originates from the employer who attests that USA workers are not available and so they need to find workers from other countries to fill the void. This determines the locations applicants will be sent who apply for the I-140. Several versions of the form exist such as EB1-A Alien of Extraordinary Ability and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver. Be sure to inquire which form would be best suited for the proposed job.
What are the Steps in Filing I-140?
Two means exist for filing the petition I-140: U.S. Postal Service or online electronically. If filing electronically please make note any evidence as in documentation must be sent to a service center. When filing electronically that petition automatically reaches the correct service center. A receipt becomes forwarded to the individual showing the location.
Make sure to keep a specific note on the receipt number since it may be asked for at a future time. After this initial contact, the method of contact changes to the receiving location. The e-filing receipt conveniently has the location. Other documentation that helps the case can come from the possible employer such as statements from the financial officer of the company that shows the established wage.
Further evidence accepted as verification remains as the company employs at least 100 workers, furnishes its annual reports, audited financial statements, and federal tax return. More than one version of the I-140 can become filed, but for each version, a $700 filing fee will be charged. On average, it takes three months to complete an I-140 form due to its complexity and need for identification numbers from various entities. The amount of time to process the form varies depending on an individual’s case. Once approved a notice will become sent to an individual and the person then can work plus take the next step in obtaining a green card. If the average time period becomes deemed too long then with an I-907 form, premium processing service can be initiated.
What Measures Can I Take to Ensure That My Form I-140 Petition Will Not Be Rejected by USCIS?
Since the process remains long and arduous doing everything possible to prevent rejection helps make it a bit easier to take. Check and see if the document given to you has the latest date. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) keeps the most recent forms online.
On the right top corner in small print, an expiration date appears. Older forms sometimes have been taken, but at some point, a memo comes out mandating which forms become unacceptable. Ensuring the petition becomes sent to the recommended service center location helps lessen the likelihood of rejection. In Part 2 of the petition of I-140 try to select only one visa preference category since this serves as a red flag of an issue.
Leaving the Part 2 visa preference blank results in the petition becoming rejected by the USCIS. If you suddenly determine the wrong visa preference became chosen after the form became sent call the National Customer Service Center before the petition becomes evaluated. You can request a change in visa status. The phone numbers are:
Fill in the information on the form as much as possible. If you do not have an answer check the instructions and see if the word “none” or n/a (not applicable) should go in the blank space. If not sure, you are allowed to staple a piece of paper with further explanations on the form. Sign your name and date the blank paper. Use the Part 1-9 section titles and numbering within each section to identify the information or explanation given.
Use black ink for printing or typing in the online form. The employer known as the petitioner in some versions of the form must sign so make sure the signature happens and that you sign the form. Include the correct fee for the document I-140 and use the memo field on the check to label what the fee or fees pay for and if an employer is paying the name of the individual. If filing multiple applications make one check per application rather than a lump sum.
If an attorney or representative has been chosen to file the application submit a G-28 form known as Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative to notify the USCIS. Make sure when filing electronically any supporting evidence and documentation gets sent to the correct service center.
What Special Steps Should be Used on File a Form I-140 That Requires a DOL-Approved Labor Certification?
Simultaneously submit a labor certification with the petition I-140 within the 180-day period recommended on the labor certification form. DOL means Department of Labor, so they have a slightly different process on their forms than the USCIS. Put the G-28 form first if applicable followed by the document I-140, and then put the labor certification document after that. Any other evidence in document form goes underneath the labor certification document. Expiration dates on the labor certification can be tricky.
If fully expired the application will become rejected, but if it happens to expire on a Saturday or a holiday, the agency will take the form the day after or the Monday after the Saturday. Make sure the labor certification has been signed by the employer, by agent or representative and by you. Unsigned labor certifications sometimes do slip through and a notice for Request for Evidence (RFE) will become sent to individual and employer, sign the form and the approval process moves forward.
To catch the attention of officials, take a brightly colored piece of paper and put under the petition I-40 with a large note that a duplicate labor certification will be needed. If the petition I-140 requires an amended petition, and the first labor certification has been submitted put a colorful paper under the petition then a large note it is an amended petition, and the labor certification was submitted earlier. Amended petitions need to have the receipt numbers of the previous petition.
Is There Any Particular Way to Arrange the Proof with the Petition I-140?
Several ways work in organizing evidence. The order does not matter as much as making sure signatures, and correct information, as well as the proper documents, find its way on the petition. Use this list to double-check the package.
- A Department of Labor approved labor certification with a petitioner signature, and an alien/representative signature, submitted if the visa category requires it.
- Clean, and clear photocopies of evidence documents accompanying the I-140.
- Any foreign language materials need to have a matching English translation text. Make sure it has a certification with a translator who puts in the oath the translation remains an accurate and faithful rendition of the original text to the best level of the translator’s abilities.
- If a previously approved I-140 has occurred and the alien beneficiary can ask for an earlier priority date write a statement about it. Then tag I with the form I-797 giving approval notice.
- If the alien has published work or citations of their work, then highlight the alien’s name in the photocopies of the articles. List the title page and cite the work of the individual as well as the bibliography.
- Each piece of evidence label and tab as proof at the end of each first page. Correlate it with the Part 1-9 and the number in that section the evidence goes with. Then make a list of the evidence documents with the correlations on one sheet of paper.
Which Eligibility Criterion Should Be Determined in the Case of EB1-A, EB1-B, and EB1-C?
THE EB1-A titles as the Alien of Extraordinary Ability. Ten rules exist for eligibility for the individual classified as alien (citizen from another country). Each criteria must be satisfied and evidence provided. The areas of concern list as sciences, business, athletics, and education. Fortunately, the individual will have a body of work, so basically it becomes an in-depth portfolio.
An EB-2 does exist for the Alien of Extraordinary Ability, and it asks the evidence to emphasize that the person meet minimum education plus experience requirements in the labor certification. Check with authorities on which form would be the best for your needs.
EB2-NIW exists with the title Member for the Profession Holding an Advanced Degree. It can also have the title an Alien of Exceptional Ability requiring a National Interest Waiver. It identifies how a professional becomes classified as a member of a profession that has an advanced degree. In this case, an advanced degree means a bachelor’s degree with five additional years of experience to qualify. This particular petition has three criteria: merit, is it national in scope, and does it meet our national interest.
The EB1-B refers to the Outstanding Professor or Researcher application. It has six criteria the individual known as alien. Again, each criteria must have satisfaction and evidence apparent. They will need three years of teaching experience or research expertise in an academic field. The petition requires proof of those skills plus evidence of the actual job offer. The job offer must have the title, terms, conditions, and the position offered. If the situation has changed, then it needs the same items for the new position.
The EB1-C refers to the Multinational Executive or Manager application. It begins with a cover letter describing foreign employer, the job offer in the USA, what position is presently held in the other country, and how many years employed. It will require the date the person transferred to the USA. The employer needs to describe the relationship with the foreign employee. A time period exists where the USA employer must show it has been in a business relationship for one year before submitting the petition.
Withdrawal or Adjustment
Petitions of I-140 can become withdrawn. A formal process of writing a letter requesting the withdrawal starts the process. It can be drafted by the petitioner or the representative of Form G-28. It needs a statement addressing why the removal must happen. The 1-140 receipt number and personal information such as name and address will be requested. An Adjustment of Status document known as an I-485 happens when an I-140 becomes approved. The individual must file as an employed immigrant. It will require a letter of employment, photographs, an affidavit of support and have a physical exam record.
Many more forms exist that supplement the I-140 during the process and after the approval. They deal with specialized cases such as changing employers, if visas expire, or where a portion of the forms become approved, but other parts rejected. Special rules exist for concurrent filing. All of which with a little help can become handled by a representative, an attorney or the agency itself.
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