Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, allows American employers to petition a foreign national for employment-based permanent residence. Generally, an employer acts as the petitioner, and the foreign employee is the beneficiary. However, in some cases, highly qualified foreign national workers are able to self-petition.
Unfortunately, waiting to hear back about the status I-140 petition can mean a lengthy wait, especially if you’re hoping to hire immediately. To speed up the processing time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers an I-140 Premium Processing Service.
In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into premium processing for Form I-140, including what it entails and how to file a request.
Eligibility requirements for Form I-140
In order to file Form I-140, the beneficiary must meet the necessary visa requirements:
EB-1A, EB-1B, EB-1C:
Foreign nationals possessing extraordinary ability, such as an outstanding professor, researcher or a multinational executive. EB-1A visa holders can self-petition Form I-140.
Foreign workers who hold an advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate) or a foreign equivalent and who have a specialized degree and exceptional ability in business, art or sciences. This category also includes foreign workers seeking a National Interest Waiver (i.e. seeking to have the Foreign Labor Certification Process waived because doing so benefits the United States). Foreign nationals seeking a National Interest Waiver may also self-petition Form I-140.
An employment-based visa category designated for skilled, professional or other workers. Skilled workers are those whose employment requires at least 2 years of training or work experience and most hold at least the minimum of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or the foreign equivalent. Other workers are classified as employees who are performing unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years of training or work experience.
Evidence required to support Form I-140
The evidence required depends on the specific type of employee being sponsored. For example, evidence can include a labor certification or an award recognizing their achievements or extraordinary abilities.
Evidence related to the employer also needs to be provided with Form I-140. Evidence can include financial information related to the employer and proof that the employer has the ability to pay the offered wage to the foreign employee.
How long does it take to process Form I-140?
The processing time for Form I-140 varies and depends on a variety of factors.
1. Priority date
For a visa number to become available for an I-140 petition, the priority date (or the date that USCIS receives the petition) must be current. The final action date (when a decision will be reached) is provided in the monthly visa bulletin of the U.S. State Department.
2. Preference level
If there is a large influx of foreign workers with the same visa preference level and from the same country of origin, the final action date of your petition may become locked. When the final action date matches or passes the priority date, consular processing or adjustment of status can proceed.
3. Service centers
The service center processing the petition can also determine how long a petition is approved. If the center has a large caseload, the processing time may take longer.
4. Requests for evidence
Requests for evidence (RFE) can also prolong processing time, adding several weeks and, in some cases, many months, to the processing time of Form I-140.
USCIS will issue an RFE when additional evidence to support the petition is needed. In these cases, USCIS not only needs to receive the additional evidence, but they also need to assess it. These two factors combined can slow the processing time significantly.
Of course, there is a way to speed up the processing time for Form I-140: premium processing.
Form I-140 premium processing, explained
Premium processing is a service offered by USCIS that expedites the processing time for specialized employment-based green card petitions and applications.
With premium processing, USCIS guarantees that Form I-140 will be processed within 15 calendar days of receiving the petition. Should USCIS fail to process the petition during that period, they will issue a refund while the case will still receive expedited processing.
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How to request premium processing for Form I-140
In order to request Premium Processing for Form I-140, the completed petition, as well as the necessary supporting evidence, must be accompanied by a Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service).
The 15-day calendar period begins when USCIS receives Form I-907 at the proper filing address, which is listed on the request form. Once USCIS receives the request, you will receive one of the following within 15 calendar days:
An approval notice
A denial notice
A notice of intent to deny
A request for further evidence (RFE)
A notice that a request to open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation has been made
Should you receive an RFE or notice of intent to deny, a new 15-day calendar period will begin as soon as USCIS receives your response for a RFE or a notice of intent to deny.
Premium processing eligibility requirements
Not all Form I-140 petitions can utilize a Form I-907. Only petitions and applications designed by USCIS is eligible for this service. The following Form I-140 petitions are eligible for premium processing:
Aliens of extraordinary ability
Outstanding processors and researchers
Multinational executive and managers
Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver
Workers other than skilled workers or professionals
When to file Form I-907
Form I-907 can be filed along with the eligible Form I-140 or after the eligible Form I-140 has been filed. However, if USCIS has issued a final decision for the petition, you can no longer file a Form I-907.
Note that only the petitioner of a Form I-140 can file a Request for Premium Processing Service. So only the employer, an attorney or an accredited representative can make this request. Beneficiaries are only permitted to make this request if they are self-petitioning.
If an attorney or an accredited representative files the request, he or she is also required to complete and file one of the following:
Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative)
Form G-281 (Notice of Entry or Appearance as Attorney in Matters Outside the Geographical Conflicts of the United States)
Instructions for filing Form I-907
You can obtain a copy of Form I-907 by visiting the USCIS website. Note: to download Form I-907, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader.
If you cannot access the Internet, you can contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center directly by dialing 1-800-375-5283 (1-800-767-1833 for the hearing impaired) and request to have Form I-907 sent to you.
Here are other guidelines to keep in mind when filing Form I-907:
To complete Form I-907, you should type or legibly print your answers in black ink.
All questions should be completely and accurately answered. For questions that do not apply to you, a response of “not applicable” or “N/A” should be provided, unless otherwise specified. For questions that require a numerical value and your answer is zero, enter the word “none”, unless otherwise directed.
If you require additional space for any of your answers, you can use Part 6. Additional Information. Alternatively, you can provide additional information on separate sheets of paper with your name and the beneficiary’s Alien Registration Number or A-Number (if applicable). Include the page number, part number and item number of the answer being referenced at the top of the additional sheet of paper. Additionally, each additional sheet of paper should be signed and dated.
Form I-907 must be hand-signed in black ink; stamped or type-written signatures are not generally accepted.
Information about the related I-140 petition should be fully provided.
If the request is being made after filing Form I-140, you must complete Part 2, Items 1 through 8; otherwise, USCIS will reject the request and return the filing fee.
If Form I-907 is being filed along with Form I-140, you must complete Part 2, Item Numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5; otherwise, USCIS will reject the request and return the filing fee.
What to expect in a Form I-907
When completing Form I-907, it’s important to provide all the necessary information being requested. Here’s a brief overview of the information you will need to provide.
Alien Registration Number (if applicable)
USCIS Online Account Number (if applicable)
Full name of the person filing the request
Company or organization named in Form I-140
Mailing address and physical address of the person filing the request
The appropriate Premium Processing Service you are requesting
Requestor’s statement, contact information, declaration, certification and signature
Interpreter’s contact information, certification and signature (if one was used)
Contact information, declaration and signature of the person preparing the petition (if someone other than the requestor is preparing the form)
Is there a filing fee for Form I-907?
Yes, to file a Request for Premium Processing Service, you must pay a filing fee of $1,410.
This fee is in addition to other filing fees associated with Form I-140, and it must be paid at the time the request is made.
The filing fee must be paid using a separate check or money order made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (abbreviations ‘USDHS’ or ‘DHS’ will not be accepted). Cash is not accepted as a form of payment.
USCIS will assess Form I-907 to determine completeness once the form is accepted. If the request is not completely filled out, your request may be rejected or denied, and USCIS will retain the processing fee. Therefore, it is crucial that you check over Form I-907 to ensure that it is fully and accurately completed and signed.
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