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Filing USCIS Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Noncitizen Workers

Filing USCIS Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Noncitizen Workers

Form I-140 is an immigration petition to gain employment and be eligible for permanent residency in the United States. On this page, you will learn more about what United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-140 is, who can apply for Form I-140, the Form I-140 process, and other information regarding employment-based immigration.

What Is an I-140 Form for Immigration?

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, is a type of employment-based green card application that is sent to USCIS. Employment-based green cards are the physical cards that show someone’s permanent residency status.

Form I-140 is an immigrant employment visa that allows an applicant to immediately become a permanent U.S. resident. Form I-140 is just one of many immigration forms that are part of the green card category.

Form I-140 Approval Meaning

Approval of your Form I-140 means you will be eligible for permanent residency. Your I-140 approval will specify which type of employment-based category you both applied and are eligible for.

What Is Permanent Residency?

Permanent residency is an immigration status that means you are allowed to live and work in the United States permanently. However, the United States does have the authority to withdraw your permanent residency under circumstances that fall under the category of immigration removal proceedings.

What Is the I-140 Application For?

Form I-140 is not the petition to become a permanent resident. There is no I-140 green card. Rather, filing Form I-140 is a step you must take to pursue permanent residency.

As such, you must also file and gain approval for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to finalize your permanent residency. Form I-140 must be completed and approved before you can file Form I-485.

Filing Form I-140 and Form I-485 Concurrently

Filing Form I-485 is dependent on your country’s visa availability. There may be waiting periods for your visa application. Ideally, if your visa availability is current, you will be able to file Form I-140 and Form I-485 together.

However, if your visa is not currently available, you can still file your I-140 form before you apply for adjustment of status with Form I-485.

You can check your visa availability status at the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.

Who Can Apply for an I-140 Form?

Form I-140 is an employment-based authorization form. It can help an eligible person petition to become a permanent resident under one of three employment-based immigration categories:

  1. EB-1: Employment-based immigration for permanent workers of extraordinary ability/outstanding professor/multinational executive
  2. EB-2: Employment-based immigration for an advanced degree or exceptional ability
  3. EB-3: Employment-based immigration for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers

Depending on which category you are eligible for, either you or your employer will file the I-140 form.

In most cases, you will need a Department of Labor (DOL) labor certification, also called a PERM certification.

EB-1 Visa Category

This is the highest level of preference for employment-based visas. Those who qualify for the EB-1 visa category are:

  1. People who have extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics
  2. “Outstanding” professors or researchers, as defined by USCIS
  3. Certain executives or managers

Submitting Form I-140 for the EB-1 visa has certain allowances since it is first preference:

  • EB-1A qualifiers self-petition for Form I-140; EB-1B and EB-1C qualifiers need their employee to petition on their behalf
  • You usually have a shorter USCIS I-140 processing time than other categories
  • You can travel freely to and from the United States
  • You can pursue U.S. citizenship
  • You don’t need PERM labor certification

Check with your immigration attorney about other EB-1 visa requirements.

EB-2 Visa Category

The second preference category eligible to file an I-140 form is for those who gain employment in the U.S. on account of their knowledge, background, and skills. As with the EB-1, there are three EB-2 subcategories:

  1. Advanced degree
  2. Exceptional ability
  3. National interest waiver (NIW)

EB-2 employees must have an employer sponsor their petition for the Form I-140 on their behalf. If you qualify for this category, you must also have a PERM labor certification. Check with your immigration attorney about other EB-2 visa requirements.

EB-3 Visa Category

The third category to file Form I-140 is the EB-3, third preference visa. This visa is for:

  1. Skilled workers
  2. Professionals
  3. Other workers

This category requires a PERM labor certification and a full-time job offer.

Your employer needs to be the petitioner for your Form I-140.

Filing Form I-140: What Is the Form I-140 Process?

The Form I-140 process involves filling out Form I-140 with the necessary information to prove your eligibility for the specific employment visa preference you/your employer is petitioning for. To fill out Form I-140, be sure to follow these I-140 instructions:

  • Include your signature. If your employer is filing Form I-140 on your behalf, they must sign the form. This is one of the most important steps because, if there is no signature, USCIS will deny your application
  • Fill out your I-140 using black ink.
  • If you need more room to fill in information, go to part 11 of the I-140 form or add an additional sheet of paper to the form.
  • Always write your A-Number at the top of the sheet, if applicable.
  • Pay the Form I-140 service fee.
  • Send in copies of required I-140 documents, unless stated otherwise.
  • If a question is not applicable to you, fill in “N/A” instead of leaving the section blank.
  • Fill out the entire document honestly.
  • Include signatures, contact information, and declarations of those involved in the filling process.
  • Include the type of employment-based visa you wish to apply for in part 2 of Form I-140.

Be sure to include all of the required evidence (I-140 documents) when sending in your Form I-140. It’s beneficial to work with an experienced immigration attorney during this process. We can review your Form I-140 and all evidence to make sure the form is filed correctly and that you have included all necessary documentation.

Form I-140 Required Evidence

Each employment-based category and subcategory has a different set of requirements. Be sure to check with your immigration attorney and the USCIS Form I-140 checklist for your specific required I-140 documents and evidence.

Along with your specified requirements, you must also submit any forms that meet the general requirements for Form I-140, including:

  • ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, if applicable
  • Form ETA 750, if applicable
  • Letters from previous employers/trainers that show evidence of your abilities; these letters must contain the following information:
    • The employer/trainer’s name and address
    • The employer/trainer’s official title
    • Descriptions of your performance, duties, and training

Most Form I-140 petitioners will be employer sponsors. They will need to provide evidence that they can pay you—the beneficiary—the offered wages until you become a permanent resident.

What Is Form I-140 Premium Processing?

With your I-140 form, you are allowed to submit a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. You can submit the request concurrently with your Form I-140 or after you have already filed Form I-140.

If you wish to submit a premium processing request after submitting your Form I-140, make sure to include a copy of your Form I-797C, Notice of Action letter. Form I-797C shows that USCIS received your form.

For Form I-140 immigrant visas (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), the filing fee for premium processing is $2,500.

Important note: Do not send Form I-907 to a lockbox facility.

What Happens If My Form I-140 Is Denied?

If you receive an I-140 denied receipt, then your Form I-485 will also be denied. To increase your chances of having your Form I-140 approved, talk with your immigration attorney before you file to review your eligibility.

Form I-140 FAQs

What Is the Form I-140 Filing Fee?

The Form I-140 filing fee is $700. You can pay by submitting a money order or check. You are also allowed to pay the Form I-140 filing fee via credit card by using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

When Will I Get My I-140 Approval Notice?

USCIS will send you an I-140 approval notice when they accept your I-140 petition. When you do receive an I-140 approval notice and have not done concurrent filing, you can move forward in your permanent residency process.

What Is USCIS I-140 Processing Time?

Form I-140 processing time is dependent on which service center you mail your form to. USCIS I-140 processing times vary from case to case. A typical wait time is around three months, but could be longer.

What Is the I-140 Filing Address?

The USCIS Form I-140 filing address is different depending on if you are filing Form I-140 as a singular document or if you are filing concurrently with Form I-485 or Form I-907.

It also changes if you are sending your form through USPS or if you are sending via FedEx, UPS, or DHL.

Check the USCIS Form I-140 filing addresses to see which address to send your form(s) to. Be sure to double-check and confirm with your immigration attorney that you have the correct I-140 filing address.

How Can I Check My Form I-140 Application Status?

To check your I-140 application status, visit the USCIS case status website. Have your receipt number ready to type into the page. You will then be directed to your application status.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney

Filing Form I-140 and getting I-140 approval is a life-changing event that has the potential to allow you to pursue permanent residency in the United States. Make sure the form is filed correctly by working with the experienced attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. We have over 30 years of experience in immigration law and extensive knowledge about the employment-based immigration process. We will be with you every step of the way as you pursue employment-based immigration and permanent residency.

Contact us today by calling 312.444.1940 or by filling out an online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!