Complete Guide to Form I-140

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Form I-140 is an immigration form filed by employers for skilled workers from abroad.
  • Also known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
  • Required documentation includes petition type, fee, payment proof, labor certification (if applicable), job experience letters, and category-specific documents.
  • Accurate completion with black ink is essential. Can be filed alone or with other documents. Filing fee is $700, payable by check or credit card.

An I-140 can be a way to open the gates for some skilled workers to join your company. If you’re an employer, you may want to be aware of this petition, because you never know when it will come in handy. In this article, you will learn more about form I-140 and how to file one.

What Is Form I-140?

Form I-140 is basically a USCIS immigration form filed by employers. Basically, there are people abroad who would like to work for companies in the United States. In order to sponsor them and help them out, this form is filed. In some instances, some workers can file this petition themselves.

The petition is also known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. It helps a worker become eligible for obtaining an immigrant visa thanks to employment. In general, it happens when the worker is very skilled, or when no other such workers can be found in the United States.

Who Needs Form I-140?

The form is needed by a worker who wants to work in the United States under a specific employer. Given that they will have to go abroad, the form is needed to help them obtain a worker visa, and travel to the U.S. to work. The alien worker is the beneficiary of the document, whereas the employer is called the petitioner.

Documents Needed to Complete Form I-140

In order to file form I-140, you need to provide some specific documentation, so the worker you are trying to sponsor will be accepted. First of all, you will need:

Form I-140

As expected, you will need the petition for the alien worker. Just keep in mind that you will need the right type of petition, depending on the employment classification. In other words, you will have to mention the type in the 2nd section, which can either be EB1, EB2 or EB3.

Application Fee

An application fee is required when you apply, so don’t forget this aspect. There is no biometric fee – just the application fee.

Proof of Payment Possibility

In case you’re the employer filing the form for a possible employee, you will have to provide proof of being able to pay your worker. Basically, you must be able to pay as much as you promise, and this can be proven by federal tax returns, annual reports, or audited financial statements. There may also be a statement from one of the company’s financial officers.

Of course, other types of proof will be taken into consideration too if you have them. These may include bank account records, personnel records, profit/loss statements, and others.

Labor Certification

It isn’t always the case, but sometimes, a labor certification can be provided, where it applies.

Job Experience Letters

If you’re the alien worker who wants to work in the U.S., you can provide job letters from your former workplace to serve as proof of your experience and skills. They can be from your former bosses, but also from colleagues who knew you and the way you were during your old job.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to use letters from the HR department that only shows how long you’ve been employed. Use letters from people who witnessed you and what you can do. Also, in the event that your colleagues changed jobs, they have the chance to use the business stationery at their new workplace.

Category Specific Documents

Now, depending on whether you have an EB1, EB2 or EB3, you will have to bring some specific documents to the table. So, check what you have, and provide all necessary documents according to that.

How to Fill Out Form I-140

In order to fill out this form, you need to use black ink, or at least print it in black ink. All questions need to be answered accurately and you have to be very careful. Also, in case some questions don’t apply to you, you can type “N/A” unless the instructions specify otherwise.

In some situations, you may need extra space, so you can write that in Part 11. Additional Information, or just attach another paper sheet. A USCIS Online Account Number will be needed too, and if you already used an account to file an application, you can find the number as soon as you log in.

The form will require an NAICS code and SOC code too. In addition, you will have to provide contact information, certification, declaration, statement and signature of the petitioner. Declare whether you’re submitting alone or have an interpreter. The interpreter’s certification, contact information, and signature will be needed too.

If someone else other than you – the authorized signatory or petitioner – completes the petition, they will have to provide their personal information too. Keep in mind that the person who helped you complete the form must write the date on the petition too, and provide a signature.

Meanwhile, if it’s an attorney or an accredited representative who helped you complete the petition, they should submit additional documents. Along with the petition, they will have to provide either a completed Form G-28I or Form G-28.

In the end, save a copy of the document for yourself, in case you will need to check it in the future.

Where to File Form I-140?

You can file form I-140 depending on whether you submit it alone, or combine it with another document. If you file at a Lockbox, you can mail the forms through FedEx, UPS, DHL or USPS. The address they can be sent to is listed on the specific webpage of the form. Look carefully, as submitting the form to a wrong location will result in it being rejected and returned to you.

Check the USCIS address page and find out where to file if you send the form alone or together with other forms.

I-140 Fees

As mentioned previously, form I-140 will require an application fee when you submit it. The fee will be $700, and you can pay either through cashier’s check, personal check, or money order.

Paying by check will require you to make your check payable, which can be done by going to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Conversely, you can choose to pay by credit card, which can be done by using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Don’t forget that sending the fee means you are automatically paying for a service offered by the government, and from your own will. Whether you withdraw your request or USCIS takes a specific action with your application, you should know that all fees are non-refundable and final.

Form I-140 Processing Time

How much it takes for the form to be processed may depend. In general, it may work like a first-come, first-served thing, meaning that your form application may be processed immediately. On average, though, the whole process can take around 4 months, even though there were cases when the process took even longer than that, more specifically 6 months.

Luckily, in some cases, you can apply for premium processing and not lose any more time.

Read More


Whether you’re an employer in desperate need of employees or you just happened to find someone very skilled abroad, form I-140 may be necessary. It will potentially allow the worker to come to the U.S. and work for you. So, now that you’ve read this article, you know what this form involves, how to complete it, and where to submit. If you have any other questions, don’t forget to visit Stilt and find the answer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Form I-140?

Form I-140, officially known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is a USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) form used by U.S. employers to petition for the immigration of foreign workers to the United States. It is a crucial step in the employment-based immigration process and is used to establish that a foreign worker is eligible for an immigrant visa in a specific employment category.

Who Can File Form I-140?

Form I-140 can be filed by U.S. employers on behalf of foreign workers who meet certain eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria vary depending on the employment category, such as EB-1 (Employment-Based First Preference), EB-2, or EB-3. Generally, the worker must possess the required qualifications, and the employer must have a job offer for the worker.

What Are the Different Employment-Based Categories for Form I-140?

Form I-140 can be filed under various employment-based categories, including:

  • EB-1: Priority workers, including individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational managers or executives.
  • EB-2: Workers with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities.
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

Each category has specific eligibility criteria and visa availability.

What Is the Priority Date in Form I-140?

The priority date in Form I-140 is the date on which USCIS receives the petition. It plays a crucial role in determining when the foreign worker can move forward with the next steps in the immigration process, such as applying for an immigrant visa or adjusting status. Priority dates are subject to visa bulletin updates and visa availability.

Can the Foreign Worker Change Employers After Form I-140 Approval?

In some cases, foreign workers may change employers after Form I-140 approval. However, this depends on the specific circumstances and the employment-based category. The new employer may need to file a new Form I-140, and the worker may retain the priority date from the original petition.

What Is Premium Processing for Form I-140?

Premium Processing is an optional service provided by USCIS that allows petitioners to expedite the processing of Form I-140. For an additional fee, USCIS guarantees processing within 15 calendar days. This can be beneficial for employers and foreign workers who need faster adjudication of their petitions.

What Happens After Form I-140 Approval?

After Form I-140 is approved, the foreign worker can proceed with the next steps, such as applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or adjusting status if eligible. The specific process will depend on the worker’s visa category and other factors.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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