The Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker is filed by UConn with USCIS upon approval of the PERM Form 9089. Along with the Form I-140 and the certified PERM Form 9089, the University must submit substantial evidence to demonstrate that UConn has a need for the beneficiary’s permanent immigration to the United States to perform a specific job (as certified by the DOL through the PERM Form 9089), that UConn has the ability to pay the beneficiary’s wage, and that the beneficiary meets the education and experience requirements for the position as listed in the PERM Form 9089.
OGC must file the I-140 within 180 days of the PERM certification from the DOL. USCIS currently takes approximately four months to adjudicate I-140 petitions, although this information is live and is subject to change. As of November 23, 2010, the USCIS filing fee for the Form I-140 Immigration Petition for Alien Worker is $700. Pursuant to University policy, the hiring department must cover this fee.
There are different types of I-140 applications, known as “preference categories,” that are designated by abbreviations such as “EB-1,” EB-2” or “EB-3.” Most PERM-based LPR processes with UConn will fall into the EB-2 preference category as professions requiring an advanced degree, as tenure-track faculty positions normally require an advanced degree. The EB-1 preference category includes “Outstanding Professor” and “Outstanding Researcher” petitions for those whose scholarship has attained international recognition. These petitions do not require a PERM filing with the DOL prior to the I-140 filing, thus eliminating the first step in the process. Sponsorship for an EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher Petition requires pre-approval by the faculty member’s Department Head, the Dean of the faculty member’s College or School, and the Provost. Neither OGC nor individual hiring departments may pursue an EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher petition without approval from the Provost. If the faculty member’s Department Head, the Dean and the Provost have granted approval to pursue an immigrant petition that does not require PERM certification, OGC will complete the I-140 Petition on behalf of the University or, if necessary, work with one of the University’s contracted law firms to complete the Petition. For questions on the EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher sponsorship process at UConn, contact Lesley Salafia at the Office of the General Counsel (Lesley.email@example.com).
Foreign nationals can also self-petition for certain I-140 categories that do not require employer sponsorship, such as EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions. These petitions do not require support by UConn. Faculty and staff are free to pursue their own Extraordinary Ability or National Interest Waiver petitions if they so choose without UConn or OGC involvement or assistance.
An approved Form I-140, on its own, does not provide employment authorization or permission to remain permanently in the United States. The beneficiary must maintain nonimmigrant status and valid work authorization, either through a nonimmigrant visa sponsorship by UConn or by other means, to continue employment during this time.