What is an I-140 Petition?
An I-140 petition is the second stage of the Green Card process and is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) once we have received an approved PERM labor certification. This is also the stage where an applicant is placed in a preference category (their place in line), either first, second, or third preference category.
Purpose of the I-140 Petition
The purpose of the visa petition is to prove to the Immigration Service that:
- The position has been certified by the Department of Labor,
- The employee meets all of the requirements listed on the labor certification, and
- The sponsoring company has sufficient resources to pay the employee’s salary. Also, this step will establish whether the employee is a second preference (normally a person with at least a Master’s level education) or third preference (a person with less than a Master’s level education) immigrant. In some cases, the preference for which the employee qualifies may determine how long it will take to immigrate to the United States. In some cases, it takes a person with a third preference approval longer to immigrate than a person with a second preference
Location to Apply for Green Card: in the United States vs an American Consulate abroad
By the time we file the visa petition, we must decide whether the employee will be applying for permanent residence here in the United States or at an American Consulate abroad. Normally, the application for permanent residence will be processed here in the United States. There are, however, reasons that may dictate processing through an American Consulate in the employee’s home country such as the need for frequent travel abroad, local USCIS time delays, ineligibility for processing in the United States, etc.