A Guide to Filing Form I-140

In order to earn the permission to work in USA, a migrant has to be a beneficiary of an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or Form I-140, which is an employment based immigration visa. Though getting the approved Form I-140 does not alter your status as a non-immigrant in US, it allows you to work in US for the certain period sponsored by your employer.

Who Can File Form I-140

An employer has to make an application, using Form I-140, on behalf of a foreigner, if he wishes to sponsor that foreign national to work in the US permanently. Some exceptionally high-qualified foreigners can file the petition for themselves. Most importantly, only an employer who is a US citizen can file this petition. An employer can file Form I-140 for the following types of employees:

  • An immigrant who has been working as a top executive, manager or in the area of administrative position, for at least 1 year in an official firm, company or any other lawful organization in the past 3 years of filling the Form I-140, and wishes to work under the same owner or corporation in the United States.
  • A migrant who is an outstanding researcher or professor with a minimum experience of 3 years in the teaching profession or researching in a particular area in academics.
  • A person who has an advanced degree and outstanding capability in arts, sciences or business and will be beneficial for interest and development of the economy of US.
  • An immigrant with some skills, obtained through training or after two years of experience, to work as labor in US if there is no suitable workforce for that task in US.
  • An unskilled worker (with less than 2 years of training or experience) for tasks in the US for which there isn’t a suitable workforce.
  • A professional with a baccalaureate degree.

Labor Certification

In cases where labor certification is required, this labor certification application must be filed and approved prior to filing Form I-140. Labor certification is a certificate which states that there are not enough employees who are capable, qualified, eager or free at the place and time where the foreigner is applying to work. It must also be made clear that the recruitment of this alien worker will not hamper the salary or the job situation of the existing US workers.

If the Form I-140 is based on Labor Certification, the date when the Department of Labor receives the form becomes its date of priority, and if the application does not require certification, the date USCIS accepts the form becomes its date of priority. Applicants can verify the priority dates by checking the visa bulletin periodically.

Essential Evidence to be Submitted while Filing Form I-140

  1. The Labor Certification, if relevant
  2. An US employer has to submit the following documents as evidence to prove that he/she is capable of paying the offered pay packet – photocopies of yearly reports, central tax returns, and inspected monetary data. Similarly, if an owner has 100 employees or more, a declaration from a fiscal officer of the company must be submitted to prove the same. Extra documents such as details of bank accounts, profit or loss accounts or employee records can be given.

Who Must Sign the Petition?

If an organization or some lawful body is the applicant of Form I-140, then some representative or a worker of the firm should sign the petition. In case the applicant is an individual, he/she needs to personally sign the application. Moreover, if the individual is less than 14 years, then his/her legitimate custodian has to sign the petition, having the knowledge of the details of the Form I-140.

The Process

USCIS, on receiving the forms, will check whether they are complete and include supportive documents. If necessary, USCIS will ask the applicant to come for an interview. If approved, USCIS will notify the applicant. The approval of this petition does not give the status of permanent resident to a migrant. A petitioner will be instructed to either adjust status or apply for an immigrant visa. A new job in the US will require an approval on a new Form I-140. This might change only in case of some self-sponsored individuals, where the same petition will remain valid – if the new work area is largely similar.

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