The I-140 Petition for an Alien Worker is the USCIS form that needs to filled out and completed by an employer who is looking to hire a prospective non-citizen of the United States. In order to work in the United States, you either need to be a citizen or green card holder, or sponsored via an employer, in which case the new hire will receive an immigrant (or non-immigrant depending on the case) visa and be permitted to travel to the United States.
The I-140 is thus a crucial starting point for employers who are serious in onboarding a foreign national. This brief guide will be dedicated to better understanding the form, some of its technical lines of questioning, and submission details.
Processing and Fees
The processing times for these petitions, once submitted to the USCIS, depend on the offer in question and the position the foreign national would be taking up in the United States. It also depends on where the employer is filing their application. For the I-140, there are two options, the Texas Service Center, or the Nebraska Service Center.
Below are the wait times for the Texas branch:
- 15 to 19 months for EB-1 (Extraordinary Ability)
- 6 to 8 months for EB-1(Outstanding Professor or Researcher)
- 6 to 8 months for EB-1 (Executives/managers)
- 6 to 8 months for EB-2 (Advanced degree)
- 6 to 8 months for EB-3 (Skilled workers/professionals)
Below are the wait times for the Nebraska branch:
- 6 to 8 months for EB-1 (Extraordinary Ability)
- 5 to 6.5 months for EB-1 (Outstanding Professor or Researcher)
- 5 to 6.5 months for EB-1 (Executive/Manager)
- 5 to 6.5 months for EB-2 (Advanced degree)
- 5 to 6.5 months EB-3 (Skilled Worker or Professional)
The filing fee for this application is $700. Prospective hires need to work out with their employer who will be paying this fee. The fee must be paid with a money order or personal check and must be filed at a USCIS lockbox facility. Applicants may also pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. The form is available here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/g-1450.pdf
For the USCIS Check Case Times link, click here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
Filing the I-140
The I-140 is 9 pages in length and needs to be filled out by an employer. Most likely the hiring manager or a team member of the organization who is familiar with the petition will fill it out.
In Part 1, applicants should print their name, the company they work for, their mailing address (this is not the same as the worksite location, which is asked in Part 6). Applicants should also provide their Social Security number, as well as Employee Identification number.
Part 2 is where the applicant will state what kind of petition this is. Each box corresponds with a specific visa type, such as an EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3. Employers should be sure to only select the box that applies to the type of visa they will be sponsoring for the prospective foreign employee.
If the petition is being filed to amend a previous petition, employers should also provide the previous I-797 Receipt number (if applicable).
Part 3 is where the employer starts to fill in information regarding the beneficiary (the employee looking to work in the U.S.). Applicants should be in touch with their beneficiary for their current address, DOB, nationality, and place of birth. Additionally, there is a sub-section for applicants who are already in the United States and seeking an employment visa. In this section, the employer will needs the beneficiaries I-94 Record, their passport number, their current legal status, their travel document number, and their passport expiration date.
In Part 4, question 1a asks the employer if the alien (meaning the intended beneficiary) will be applying for a visa abroad, and if so, at which U.S. consulate. Employers should correspond with their intended hire to ask them which embassy or U.S. consulate would be feasible for them to travel to for a visa interview. Leave this part blank if the applicant is in the U.S. already and instead mark question 2a.
Likewise, if the applicant is in the United States already, the employer should list their current U.S. address (mailing address). In addition, the employer should note if there are any other forms that are being filed, per 6a, with the petition. These include Forms I-485, I-131, and I-765. In addition, the employer will need to acknowledge if a previous petition has ever been filed on behalf of the beneficiary, and if there has been a DOL labor certificate filed.
In Part 5, additional information is requested about the petitioner. Questions about the type of business, the date it was established, the current number of employees, the net income, annual income, and NAICS code, are asked. For reference, the NAICS is a self-assigned system. In addition, the employer (if an individual) needs to supply their title or occupation they have at the company, as well as their annual income.
In Part 6, the employer will list the beneficiaries job title and their SOC Code (Standard Occupational Classification). Visit www.bls.gov for more information on such codes. In addition, the worksite address the employee will work should be given, as well as the employees wages, weekly hours, and description of the role.
Part 7 asks the petitioner to list all of the spouses/children who are related to the beneficiary, and whether each dependent will be applying for an adjustment of status, or for a separate visa abroad. The form gives applicants plenty of space to list all dependents names, DOB, and nationality.
Finally, in Part 8, the petitioner needs to give their signature and provide some basic contact information. In Parts 9 and 10, the applicant should state if they used an interpreter or attorney in helping complete this form.