What is Form I-140?
Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is an immigration form filed by a U.S. employer on behalf of a foreign national who is seeking to become a permanent resident based on employment.
The I-140 petition is part of the employment-based immigration process and is used to establish that the foreign worker is eligible for immigrant status in the U.S.
EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a category that allows certain foreign nationals to seek permanent residency (a green card) without the need for a U.S. job offer.
NIW applicants must demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the U.S. and that they have the qualifications and experience to succeed in that work.
Who is eligible to file Form I-140 in EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category?
To qualify for EB-2 NIW status, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Being a member of the professions holding advanced degrees or an individual of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business;
- Applicant’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. A wide range of fields of endeavors may qualify, including business, entrepreneurs, science, technology, culture, health, and education;
- Applicant is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. To determine whether the applicant meets this requirement, USCIS will look to their education, skills, knowledge and record of success in related or similar efforts, a model or plan for future activities, progress toward achieving the end, progress toward achieving the endeavor, and the interest of potential customers, users, investors or other relevant entities or individuals;
- It would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the US job offer requirement and labor certification requirements. Some factors that will be taken into consideration are whether the U.S. would benefit from the applicant’s contributions even if qualified U.S. workers are otherwise available, and whether the national interest of the applicant’s contributions is sufficiently urgent to warrant forgoing the labor certification process.
Do I need a US employer to file Form I-140 in EB-2 NIW category?
No, for the EB-2 NIW category, you do not need a U.S. employer to file Form I-140.
The EB-2 NIW category is designed for individuals who can demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the U.S., and it allows for self-petitioning.
This means that if you can demonstrate that your work is of substantial intrinsic merit and national importance, and that you possess the qualifications and expertise to substantially benefit the U.S., you can file Form I-140 on your own behalf without the need for a job offer from a U.S. employer.
EB-2 NIW Form I-140 filing fees
Form I-140 filing fees are provided below:
- Basic fee: $700 (this fee must be paid by all applicants)
- Premium Processing Fee: $2,500 (optional). If you want to expedite the processing of the I-140, you may choose to use premium processing by filing Form I-907. If a premium processing fee is paid, USCIS will review Form I-140 application in 45 calendar days
EB-2 NIW Form I-140 checklist of required documents
Here is a general checklist of required documents for an EB-2 NIW Form I-140 petition (submit photocopies only):
|Evidence||Examples of acceptable documents|
|Completed immigration forms|
|Payment of filing fees||
|Previous U.S. immigration documents (only if applicable)|
|Advances degree or exceptional ability documentation||
|Substantial merit and national importance documentation||
|Documentation showing that applicant is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor||
|Documentation to show waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements will benefit the U.S.||
|Proof that the applicant will continue working in the same field after a green card is issued||
How to fill out Form I-140 for EB-2 NIW application
NOTE: The Form I-140 instructions provided below apply for EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) category only. If you are filing Form I-140 under any other category (EB-1A, EB-1B, EB-1C, EB-2, EB-3), do not follow these instructions.
Form I-140 petition must be completed and filed with USCIS whether the beneficiary is in the U.S. and plans to apply for Adjustment of Status or the beneficiary is abroad and will apply for an immigrant visa through Consular Processing.
EB-2 NIW applications require uncertified ETA 750B or ETA 9089.
Let’s start with general Form I-140 instructions for EB-2 NIW applications:
- Current edition of forms: make sure that you are using the current edition of the Form I-140. The most current edition is available on the USCIS website.
- USCIS will reject any outdated editions of the form
- Sign and date the form
- If you need extra space to complete any item on Form I-140, go to the last page of the form – Part 11 Additional Information. Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers.
- Answer all questions fully and accurately
- If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” type or print “N/A”
- You must sign the form in ink. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted
Step-by-step instructions on how to fill out Form I-140:
For USCIS Use Only: leave this section blank.
To be completed by an attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative: leave it blank if you are not being represented by an attorney or representative.
Part 1. Information About the Person or Organization Filing This Petition
Questions 1.a. – 1.c. – Legal Name of Individual Petitioner: Since Form I-140 petition is being filed as a self-petition, enter your full legal name here as shown on your birth certificate, passport or legal change of name document.
Question 2 – Company or Organization Name: enter “N/A” here.
Questions 3.a. – 3.i – Mailing Address: Enter your U.S. mailing address. All USCIS notices and the original documents (approval notices, green card, EAD, Advance Parole document, if applicable) will be mailed to that address.
Question 4 – IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN): enter “N/A” here.
Question 5 – U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) (if any): if you have a U.S. SSN (Social Security Number), enter it here. If you have never been issued an SSN, enter “N/A” here.
Question 6 – USCIS Online Account Number (if any): If you have ever created an USCIS Online Account Number, enter it here.
If you have previously filed certain applications or petitions on a paper form, you may have received a USCIS Online Account Access Notice issuing a USCIS Online Account Number.
The USCIS Online Account Number (if any) can be found at the top of the notices for the previously filed petition or application.
The USCIS Online Account Number is NOT the same as an A-Number.
If you don’t know or don’t have an USCIS online account number, leave this field blank.
Part 2. Petition Type
This petition is being filed for (select only one box):
You must select only one category. USCIS will reject the I-140 petition if you leave Part 2 blank or if you select more than one category. If you want to apply under multiple categories, then you must file a separate Form I-140 for each requested classification.
Box 1.a: leave this box blank.
Box 1.b: leave this box blank.
Box 1.c: leave this box blank.
Box 1.d: leave this box blank.
Box 1.e: leave this box blank.
Box 1.f: leave this box blank.
Box 1.g: leave this box blank.
Box 1.h: select this box if you are filing the petition under the EB-2 NIW category.
This petition is being filed (select only one box):
Box 2.a – To amend a previously filed petition: check this box only if you are filing the I-140 form to amend a previously filed petition. If you checked Box 2.a, enter the Receipt Number for the previously filed Form I-140.
If this question does not apply to you, leave it blank.
Box 2.b – For the Schedule A, Group I or II designation – this question does not apply to EB-2 NIW applicants, leave it blank.
Part 3. Information About the Person for Whom You Are Filing
Questions 1.a. – 1.c. – Family Name, Given Name, Middle Name – enter your full legal name here as shown on your birth certificate, passport or legal change of name document.
Questions 2.a. -2.i. – Mailing Address: Enter your U.S. mailing address. All USCIS notices and the original documents (approval notices, green card, EAD, Advance Parole document, if applicable) will be mailed to that address.
Question 3 – Date of Birth: enter your date of birth in the (mm/dd/yyyy) format.
Question 4 – City/Town/Village of Birth: enter your place of birth as indicated on your birth certificate.
Question 5 – State or Province of Birth: enter the state or province of your birth as indicated on your birth certificate. If there was no state or province, enter “N/A.”
Question 6 – Country of Birth: enter your country of birth.
Question 7 – Country of Citizenship or Nationality: enter the country of your current citizenship or nationality. If you hold more than one country of citizenship/nationality, enter them all.
A-Numbers are usually assigned when an immigrant petition or application for Adjustment of Status is filed, or if the person has previously been issued an immigrant visa.
An A-Number is also assigned to individuals placed in removal or deportation proceedings.
Some applicants may have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that lists an A-Number that starts with a “1.” This number is not an A-Number. It is an EAD number and need not be listed here.
Question 9 – U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) (if any): Enter your SSN issued to you by the U.S. Social Security Administration (if any). If you have ever been issued a Social Security Number that has a note stating “Valid for work only with DHS authorization”, you still must list it here. If you were never issued a SSN, enter “None”.
Information About His or Her Last Arrival in the United States
If you are located outside the U.S., you can skip Questions 10 through 15 and go to Part 4. Processing Information.
If you are currently in the U.S., you must complete Questions 10 through 15.
Question 10 – Date of Last Arrival (mm/dd/yyyy): Enter the date on which you last entered the United States in the mm/dd/yyyy format. The date of your last arrival will be listed on the I-94. If your passport was stamped by CBP, you can find the date of entry on the stamp.
Question 11.a – Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number: Enter the I-94 number that is listed on your I-94 record.
If your Form I-94 cannot be obtained from the CBP website, you may file Form I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record with USCIS.
Question 11.b – Expiration Date of Authorized Stay Shown on Form I-94: Enter the expiration date listed on the I-94 form that was issued to you at the time of your most recent entry into the U.S. If your most recent entry into the U.S. was on an F-1/F-2, M-1/M-2, or J-1/J-2 visa, the expiration date on I-94 form will normally be “D/S,” which stands for “Duration of Status.” Where your I-94 lists “D/S” as the expiration date, enter “D/S” here.
Question 11.c – Status on Form I-94 (for example, class of admission, or paroled, if paroled): Enter the class of admission as listed on your I-94 record at the time of your last arrival (i.e., F-1, H-1B, O-1, etc.)
Question 12 – Passport Number: Enter your passport number that was used at the time of your last entry into the U.S.
Question 13 – Travel Document Number: if you used a travel document (for example, Refugee Travel Document, Advance Parole document, etc.) at the time of your last entry into the U.S., enter the travel document’s number here. Most applicants do not have travel documents. If no travel document was used, enter “N/A.”
Question 14 – Country of Issuance for Passport or Travel Document: Enter the country that issued the passport or travel document you used when traveling to the U.S. most recently.
Question 15 – Expiration Date for Passport or Travel Document (mm/dd/yyyy): Enter the expiration date of the passport or travel document you used when traveling to the U.S. most recently.
Part 4. Processing Information
Box 1.a. Alien will apply for a visa abroad at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate at – check this box if you are located outside the U.S. and will be applying for an immigrant visa abroad.
Box 1.b. City or Town – enter the city/town of the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you would like to apply for an immigrant visa. As a general rule, you must be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the country where the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is located. Also, in foreign countries with multiple U.S. consular posts, only some of them may issue immigrant visas. Check the list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates for more information.
Box 1.c. Country – enter the country of the location of the U.S. embassy or Consulate where you would like to apply for an immigrant visa.
Box 2.a. Alien is in the United States and will apply for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident – check this box if you are physically present in the U.S. in lawful status, eligible for Adjustment of Status and will be applying for a green card in the U.S.
Question 2.b. – Alien’s current country of residence or, if now in the United States, last country of permanent residence abroad – if you are abroad, enter the country where you reside. If you are currently in the U.S., enter the country where you last resided prior to entering the U.S.
If you provided a U.S. address in Part 3., provide your foreign address in Item Numbers 3.a.-3.f.:
Questions 3.a. – 3.f. –Foreign Address: enter your foreign address here.
If the person’s native alphabet is other than Roman letters, type or print the person’s foreign name and address in the native alphabet in Item Numbers 4.a.-4.c.:
Questions 4.a. – 4.c. – If your native alphabet is other than Roman letters (those used in the English alphabet), type or print your full name in the native alphabet.
Questions 5.a.-5.g. – If your native alphabet is other than Roman letters (those used in the English alphabet), type or print your foreign mailing address in the native alphabet.
Question 6.a – Are you filing any other petitions or applications with this Form 1-140?: Check “Yes” if you are filing Form I-485 concurrently with the I-140 petition. If you are filing only Form I-140 at this time, answer “No”. Concurrent filing of Forms I-140 and I-485 will be discussed later in this post.
Question 6.b. – If you answered “Yes” to Item Number 6.a., select all applicable boxes – if you are filing Form I-485 concurrently with Form I-140, choose which forms you will be also filing:
- Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status – check this box if you are concurrently filing Form I-485;
- Form I-131 Application for Travel Authorization – check this box if you are concurrently filing Form I-131 (Advance Parole document application);
- Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization – check this box if you are concurrently filing Form I-765 (Employment Authorization Document application);
- Other – check this box if you will be filing concurrently any other applications with Form I-140 (for example, Form I-824 Application for Action on an Approved petition). If you chose this box, provide an explanation in Part 11. Additional Information.
Question 7 – Is the person for whom you are filing in removal proceedings?: answer “No” if you are not currently in removal (deportation) proceedings (including administratively closed cases). Answer “Yes” if you are currently in removal proceedings. If you answered “Yes,” provide an explanation in Part 11. Additional Information.
Question 8 – Has any immigrant visa petition ever been filed by or on behalf of this person?: Answer “Yes” if you or any other person have ever filed an immigrant petition (for example, Forms I-140, I-130, I-360, etc.) on your behalf. Answer “No” if you or anyone else have never filed any immigrant petitions on your behalf in the past. If you answered “Yes,” provide an explanation in Part 11. Additional Information and include the following details of any previously filed immigration petitions:
- Receipt number;
- USCIS office where the petition was filed, pending, or approved;
- Date of any decisions; and
- Disposition of any decision (denied, approved, etc.)
Question 9 – Are you filing this petition without an original labor certification because the original labor certification was previously submitted in support of another Form 1-140? – Answer “No” to this question.
Question 10 – If you are filing this petition without an original labor certification, are you requesting that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) request a duplicate labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL)? – Answer “No” to this question.
Part 5. Additional Information About the Petitioner
Type of Petitioner (select only one box):
Box 1.a – Employer: leave this box blank.
Box 1.b – Self: check this box.
Box 1.c – Other (For example, Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), U.S. citizen or any other person filing on behalf of the alien): leave this box blank.
If a company or an organization is filing this petition, provide the following information:
Question 2 – Type of Business: enter “N/A” here.
Question 3 – Date Established: enter “N/A” here.
Question 4 – Current Number of U.S. Employees: enter “N/A” here.
Question 5 – Gross Annual Income: enter “N/A” here.
Question 6 – Net Annual Income: enter “N/A” here.
Question 7 – NAICS Code: enter “N/A” here.
Question 8 – Labor Certification DOL Case Number: enter “N/A” here.
Question 9 – Labor Certification DOL Filing Date: enter “N/A” here.
Question 10 – Labor Certification Expiration Date: enter “N/A” here.
If an individual is filing this petition, provide the following information.
Question 11 – Occupation – enter your occupation here.
Question 12 – Annual Income – enter your annual income in $____/per year format.
Part 6. Basic Information About the Proposed Employment – For EB-2 NIW applications, a job offer is not required. However, the applicant must show how he/she will be employed in the area of the proposed endeavor. Therefore, some of the questions must be completed:
Question 1 – Job Title: enter the job title. This job title should be for a position that is for employment in your area of the proposed endeavor.
Question 2 – SOC Code: Enter the SOC System code for the offered position that you have listed in Question 1. The SOC codes are available from the DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics at bls.gov/soc. Type or print the SOC code from left to right, entering one digit in each of the 6 boxes. If you use a code which is less than 6 digits, type or print the code left to right and then add zeros in the remaining boxes.
Question 3 – Nontechnical Job Description: Enter a nontechnical job description for the offered position.
Question 4 – Is this a full-time position? – Skip this question.
Question 5 – If the answer to Item Number 4. is “No,” how many hours per week for the position? – Skip this question.
Question 6 – Is this a permanent position? – Skip this question.
Question 7 – Is this a new position? – Skip this question.
Question 8 – Wages (specify hour, week, month, or year) – Skip this question.
Questions 9.a. – 9.d. – Worksite Location – Skip these questions.
Part 7. Information About the Spouse and All Children of the Person for Whom You Are Filing
In this section, enter the information about your spouse and all children (if applicable). If you are not married and/or do not have children, enter N/A in all fields.
If you need additional space to provide information about your family members, enter that information in Part 11. Additional Information.
Note: Failure to list a spouse or child might result in your family member’s application being denied. You must provide information about ALL your children.
For each family member answer the following questions:
- Family Name – enter the last name of your family member as indicated on their birth certificate, passport, legal name change document
- Given Name – enter the given name(s) of your family member as it appears on their birth certificate, passport, legal name change document
- Middle Name – enter the middle name (if any) of your family member as it appears on their birth certificate, passport, legal name change document
- Date of birth – enter your family member’s date of birth in mm/dd/yyyy format
- Country of birth – enter your family member’s country of birth
- Relationship – enter “spouse” or “child”
- Is he or she applying for adjustment of status? – Answer “Yes” if your family member is physically present in the U.S., eligible for Adjustment of Status and will be applying for a green card in the U.S. Answer “No” if your family member will not be filing Form I-485
- Is he or she applying for a visa abroad? – Answer “Yes” if your family member is located abroad and will be applying for an immigrant visa at the US Embassy or Consulate in their home country.
Part 8. Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature of the Petitioner or Authorized Signatory and Signature
Question 1.a. – If you can comfortably read and understand the application in English, then check the box in Question 1.a.
You should carefully review the entire application for accuracy prior to signing.
Question 1.b. – If you are not proficient enough in reading English, then a competent interpreter needs to read through the application with you for accuracy review prior to signing. The interpreter need not be a professional interpreter but should be someone that is able to properly interpret the application. In such a case, the box in Question 1.b should be checked and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant should be entered (for example, Spanish, French, etc.)
Question 2 – The box for Question 2 should be checked if anyone has prepared the application at your request. If a preparer was used to prepare the application, Part 10 must be completed too.
Question 3.a. – Authorized Signatory’s Family Name (Last Name) – enter your last name.
Question 3.b. – Authorized Signatory’s Given Name (First Name ) – enter your first name.
Question 4 – Authorized Signatory’s Title – enter “N/A” here.
Question 5 – Authorized Signatory’s Daytime Telephone Number – enter your cell phone number here.
Question 6 – Authorized Signatory’s Mobile Telephone Number – enter your cell phone number here.
Question 7 – Authorized Signatory’s Email Address (if any) – enter your email address here.
Question 8 – Petitioner’s or Authorized Signatory’s Signature
Question 8.a. – Petitioner’s Signature – Sign the form here. It must be an ink signature. USCIS does not accept stamped or typed signatures.
Question 8.b. – Date of signature (mm/dd/yyyy) – enter the date in mm/dd/yyyy format.
Part 9: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
If an interpreter was used to read you the application in your native language, then Part 9 must be completed with the information about the interpreter.
The interpreter must sign and date to certify that they are:
- Fluent in English and the language the applicant used;
- They have completely read the application to the applicant in that language;
- The applicant confirmed to understand the contents of the application; and
- The applicant verified the accuracy of the application.
Part 9 is completed by entering the full legal name of the interpreter, the interpreter’s mailing address, daytime phone number, cell phone number (if any), email address (if any), and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant. The interpreter must then sign and date the application where indicated at Question 7 on Page 7 of the application.
Part 10: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Petition, if Other Than the Authorized Individual
Part 10 is completed by entering the preparer’s full name, organization name (if applicable), mailing address, daytime telephone number, fax number (if any), and email address (if any).
The box at Question 7.b should be checked if an attorney has prepared the application.
The preparer must sign and date the application where indicated as Question 8 attesting to certifications about the preparation and accuracy of the application.
Part 11. Additional Information
This section can be used if there is not enough space in any other parts of the form to provide all requested information.
Note: Even if no information is provided in Part 11, this page should still be included with the application when submitted to USCIS.
If you need additional space, make copies of this page to use to provide all requested information.
If you are using Part 11 to provide additional information, enter:
- Applicant’s name
- Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any)
- Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which the answer refers.
Can Forms I-140 and I-485 in EB-2 NIW category be filed concurrently?
You can file Forms I-140 and I-485 concurrently (together at the same time) if the following requirements are met:
- You are physically present is in the U.S. in lawful status
- Visa is available under the DOS Visa Bulletin (or the Priority Date on the DOL Visa Bulletin’s Dates for Filing Chart is reached and the USCIS I-485 Filing Chart allows for use of the Dates for Filing Chart) for the petition at the time that the I-140 is being filed, AND
- You meet all other requirements for Adjustment of Status under INA §245.
Forms I-485 and I-140 can also be concurrently filed for any eligible derivative beneficiaries who are within the U.S. and meet all eligibility requirements listed above at the time of filing.
Priority Date: For the EB-2 NIW category, the priority date for the I-140 petition is the date on which Form I-140 petition is filed with USCIS.
Exception: If you are a beneficiary of a valid approved I-140 petition in the EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 preference category, the priority date from that approved I-140 petition can be recaptured and applied to future I-140 petitions filed on behalf of the beneficiary in the EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 preference category.
Where to send EB-2 NIW Form I-140 application
Filing Address: Make sure that you are submitting the I-140 to the correct address. Sending a petition to the wrong address would result in rejection of the filing. You should always verify the most current filing addresses for Form I-140 petitions on the USCIS website: Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-140.
EB-2 NIW Form I-140 processing times
The processing times for Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, can vary based on several factors, including the USCIS service center where the petition is filed, the overall caseload, and whether you have paid the Premium Processing Fee:
- Regular processing: it can take anywhere from 10.5 months to 11.5 months to get Form I-140 (EB-2 NIW category) to be reviewed by USCIS. Check the latest average case processing times on the USCIS website (choose Form I-140, then “Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability requesting a National Interest Waiver” and your service center. The service center is listed in the lower left corner of the USCIS Form I-140 registration notice.
- Premium Processing: If you decide to use the USCIS Premium Processing services, and you pay the additional fee of $2,500, USCIS will review your Form I-140 petition in 45 calendar days.