Updated November 18, 2020:

I-140 Instructions: Everything You Need to Know

I-140 instructions must be followed to obtain the status.

Form I-140 came as a result of the USA having a long history of bringing immigrants to work in this country. The failure of the USA to pay Mexican workers in full during the Bracero Program in Texas and California in the 20th century called for tighter regulations since many of those workers were abused.

Once in the country, industries would continue to hire those immigrant workers long after their release from an immigrant work program, but without any protections guaranteed by the Federal government. After several court cases, the forms evolved to make it legal to be an immigrant and work in the USA with protections due to industry demand. Today the process involves using the document for those immigrants whose skills sets match shortage areas in the USA labor force-- particularly in agriculture, and industries using math and science degrees as a basis.

What is I-140?

The petition has a title known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This petition goes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), so the entity can determine if an immigrant can be granted a visa based on the need for employing people in that niche. Termed an “alien beneficiary” this gives an immigrant a different status. Beneficiaries as related to immigration law refer to immigrants who an employer, ordinary U.S. citizen, or a legal permanent resident have filed a petition for. Some exceptionally highly qualified aliens can do self-petitions using an EB1-A or EB-2 from. If the qualifications have been met, then immigrants receive a green card. The green card becomes the ticket for permission to work in the USA.

General Instructions

Two ways exist to file the document I-140:  online and by mail. Be aware of filing electronically that documents which support the petition such as high need area in the USA must be mailed into one of the service centers. Any communication furthering documentation after the initial contact must be mailed in for the I-140. The immigrant petition requires black ink and has an emphasis on readable handwriting. If explanations need more room than given, feel free to use a separate paper for recording with a name written on it followed by a date. Then attach to the document. Fully answer all statements and questions to the best of your ability. If one question or statement does not apply, then you can leave it blank, but it has been suggested it would be better to write the word “none.” in the blank space, so those receiving the form will know you did not miss a question, but it did not apply.

When reading the immigrant petition a person will encounter the terms alien, petitioner, and beneficiary. Know that as an applicant both roles of petitioner and beneficiary apply to you on some versions of the petition. The following are details about each role:

  • Alien:  anyone who belongs to a foreign country as a citizen.
  • Petitioner: a person who makes a formal application to a government entity.
  • Beneficiary: an alien whom someone has filed a visa petition request form.



EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability

Petitioner and Beneficiary

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

Petitioner and Beneficiary

EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Beneficiary Only


The case of the EB-1B the petitioner on that version of the form designates as an employer.

Part 1 of Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

As with all government documents, information about an individual filing must become obtained. Know your documents. Each petition has its own instructions. Triple check that you have the correct form. Section 1 of the form under the Part 1 needs the following information: Family name as in last name, first name as in given name, and then middle name.

This holds true on the EB-1A and the EB-2 NIW. If a person has no middle name just leave the box blank or write the word “none.” Do not worry about mistakes. If a mistake happens know that in this particular section it can quickly become corrected. A person can make a service request if they receive a notice from the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140. The USA even with its citizens deals with nicknames daily. The document requires a person’s legal name (the one on the birth certificate). If dealing with version EB-1B, you can leave items 1a. and 1c. blank or put the “none” as instructed earlier.

Moving on to item 2 in Part 1 of the document Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140 you now name the organization or company you intend to work for and who most likely will sponsor the petition. If dealing with version EB-1A or EB-2 NIW leave item 2 blank as to what company or organization.  For EB-1B the category 2 under the Part 1 label does need the organization or company that petitions for you.

Other Information on Part 1 of Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

Beginning with item 3 in the Part 1 section you will need a tax number from the IRS if using the EB-1B document. It will be the employer or a petitioner’s 9-digit IRS tax number so speak to them first for its availability. If the documents filed fall under EB1A and/or EB2-NIW leave the item blank. Moving forward to item 4 of Part 1 the need for a Social Security number arises. Again number 4 under Part 1 applies when doing EB-1A and/or EB-2 NIW so leave the item blank otherwise.

Mailing Address

Portion 5 in Part 1 now asks for your mailing address on document EB-1A and/or EB-2 NIW. It needs the following information:

  1. Name of person you are residing with
  2. The number of and street name
  3. Apartment, Floor, or Suite
  4. City
  5. State
  6. Zip Code or Postal Code
  7. Province
  8. Country

If document EB-1B becomes the petition to fill out, it needs the employer or the petitioner sponsoring your mailing address.

Part 2 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140 Petition Type

To make sure all the paperwork correlates, here in this section you are asked to select a box for the petition you believe you are applying for. The choices are EB-1A, EB-1B, or EB-2 NIW. Mistakes happen so if you feel an incorrect selection has been made and does not match item 1 or item 2 contact USCIS National Customer Service Center at:



1-800-767-1833 TTY

You can request a Visa change before a ruling on the document. If you wish to file for more than one category, then an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140 of each type must become registered. Be aware every filing has a $700 fee, so multiple payments will become charged if you do multiple documents. If filing an amended document on Part 2 items 2a and 2b must be filled out by entering a receipt number otherwise 2a and 2b remain blank.

Part 3 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

The department needs data on the person for whom you are filing.  Item 1 in Part 3 requests gives a name of the individual for whom you wish to register for, including the given name and the family name.

Again, a mailing address will be needed just like before with the same information. It would behoove you for document EB1A or EB-2 NIW that the item 2 of Part 3 match the address in Part 1 of the document.

Information for Part 3 continues with other information:

  • Email address (if any)
  • Daytime phone number
  • Date of birth
  • City, town, or village, and state or province of birth
  • Birth country, citizenship, nationality
  • Alien registration number
  • USA Social Security Number
  • Date of arrival into the USA
  • I-94 arrival/departure record number
  • Passport number
  • Travel document number

Part 4 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

This titles as the processing information section and it ties the information from the other portions of the document to you. It begins by asking about where the alien will apply for a visa such as U.S Embassy or the consulate and its location.  Then it checks if the alien is in the USA and if they need an adjustment of status as in lawful permanent resident. It will want the last country of permanent resident outside the USA, as well as the person’s foreign address. It will want the road, style of the house, what city, postal code, the province, and the country. It requests that the address is written in the native alphabet.

The next part asks for the last name, first name, and middle name. It then requests what other petitions you have in a list that includes the I-485, I-131, I-765, or any other form not listed. A series of questions happens next such as has the person been part of removal proceedings, has an immigrant visa petition been filed before, and asks about an original labor certification. It also requests if a duplicate labor certification is needed.

Part 5 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

The document now requests additional information about the petitioner. It wants to know the type of petitioner as an employer, self, or other. If a company makes the request then on item 2 list the type of business and date of its establishment. You will have to know the current number of employees, gross annual income, net annual income, and a NAICS code to fill out this section. A labor certification of DOL/ETA case number will be needed to its filing date and expiration date. If you are an individual filing, then 3a and 3b will need your occupation and annual income.

Part 6 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

Moving forward into the proposed employment information the document wants the job title along with the SOC code. Then you describe the job you will be doing in the USA. There are several things that they want to know about the job, such as whether it is a full time, the total hours, whether the position will become permanent, if it is a newly-created position, wage or salary, the location of the workplace, and the length of time of the position.

Part 7 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

The petition now moves towards gathering information on your family. All children and spouses belonging to you must be accounted for and you must list their last, first, and middle name along with their date of birth and birth country. It also asks for your relationship with that person and if they are applying for adjustment of status and visa abroad.

Part 8 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

Now a written oath appears in this section. Read it carefully and sign at the bottom. Also, state the job title of the petitioning employer.

Part 9 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker I-140

This section requests if the USCIS can contact your attorney or representative by e-mail if needed. It has the preparer of the document sign fully with contact information. It ends with a declaration for preparers, attorneys, and representatives to sign that the information is true and reliable.

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