Form I-140, Explained
A guide to the processing time, cost, and requirements to file the “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker” form
What is Form I-140?
Form I-140, “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker,” is an immigration form filed by employers in the United States to petition for the employment-based immigration of foreign workers.
The purpose of the form is to establish that the U.S. employer has a job opening and that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill the position. It is also used to demonstrate that the foreign worker being sponsored has the necessary qualifications, education, and experience to perform the job duties and subsequently apply for immigration benefits.
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Form I-140 Processing Time
The processing time for Form I-140 varies depending on several factors, including the workload of the USCIS field office where the petition was filed, the complexity of the case, and the volume of applications received. USCIS updates processing times regularly, however these times are only estimates and are subject to change.
You can check the current processing times for Form I-140 for your specific visa category and USCIS service center here.
Certain immigrant workers may be eligible to request “premium processing” of their Form I-140 for an additional fee of $2805. If approved, USCIS will process your I-140 within 15-45 calendar days.
Visit our page on premium processing to check your eligibility and learn more about how to apply.
Form I-140 Cost
The current fee to file Form I-140 is $700, and it must be paid directly to USCIS at the time of filing. Since Form I-140 is typically filed by the sponsoring employer on the foreign worker’s behalf, the employer is responsible for the filing costs during the process.
Form I-140 Eligibility
Form I-140 is filed by U.S. employers to petition for foreign workers to obtain permanent residency under certain employment-based immigrant visa categories. Therefore, generally only U.S. employers or their authorized representatives are eligible to file Form I-140.
The following are the employment-based immigrant visa categories for which Form I-140 can be filed:
- EB-1: Priority workers, including individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives or managers.
- EB-2: Members of professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability.
- EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.
- EB-4: Special immigrants, such as religious workers, broadcasters, and employees of U.S. foreign service posts.
- EB-5: Immigrant investors who invest a minimum of $1.8 million (or $900,000 in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
It is important to note that eligibility for these visa categories depends on several factors, including the foreign worker’s qualifications and the availability of U.S. workers to fill the job. Therefore, it is important for employers to carefully review the requirements for each visa category and ensure that the foreign worker meets the necessary qualifications before filing Form I-140.
Form I-140 Supporting Documents
The supporting documents required for Form I-140 may vary depending on the specific immigrant category under which the petition is being filed. However, generally, the following documents are required to be submitted along with Form I-140:
- Proof of the employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage (such as financial statements, tax returns, or audited financial statements)
- Evidence that the employer has the ability to hire and supervise the beneficiary
- A copy of the beneficiary’s resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Education qualifications, such as copies of diplomas, transcripts, and degrees.
- Letters of recommendation from previous employers or colleagues
- Evidence of relevant work experience, such as letters from previous employers, tax records, or other documents
- Valid passport
- Proof of current work visa status
- I-94 Travel Record
- Labor certification application form (PERM), certified by the Department of Labor
- A detailed job description that includes the job title, duties, and responsibilities
- A copy of the job offer letter or employment verification letter
It is important to note that USCIS may request additional information or evidence, such as additional documents or an in-person interview, during the processing of the application. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the application is complete and accurate and includes all necessary supporting documents.
Form I-140 FAQs
You can check the status of your Form I-140 online through the USCIS website using the “Check Case Status” tool. To use this tool, you will need the receipt number that was issued to you when you filed your application.
You can see detailed instructions on how to use USCIS’ case status tool in Boundless’ guide. Since the form was filed by your employer, you can also request updates from your employer as well, in case they receive any additional information or requests directly from USCIS.
If your Form I-140 is approved by USCIS, it will serve as a basis for you to apply for an employment-based immigrant visa or adjust your status to permanent residency in the United States by filing Form I-485. Depending on your country of nationality, you may or may not be able to file Form I-485 concurrently (at the same time) as your employer files Form I-140. You will be able to track whether you can apply on the monthly visa bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State.
If you lose your job after your Form I-140 has been filed, your next steps will depend on how long your green card application has been pending. If your adjustment of status application had been pending for over 180 days before you lost your job, you may be able to find a new employer without jeopardizing your current green card application. The new job must be a position which is the same or similar to the position that was indicated on your previous PERM labor certification or I-140 petition.
If it has been less than 180 days since you applied for a green card, your new employer may be required to submit a new PERM and Form I-140 on your behalf. You can learn more about how to navigate losing your job while on a work visa in Boundless’ guide.