What Does a Petition Do for a High-Skilled Foreign National Seeking US Permanent Residence?

Many people do not understand what the employment-based petition is, why it’s necessary, and what it does. We’re going to bring some clarity in this blog post.

Let’s get into it.

For you to get employment-based permanent residence, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must issue a determination that you are eligible for an employment-based preference status–that is, that you meet the qualifications of the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, or EB-5 preference categories. You obtain this determination by filing the immigration petition with USCIS.

In the types of employment immigration that we work on, EB-1 and EB-2 cases, the petition is Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. However, the EB-4 and EB-5 preference categories do not use this form.  

The burden of proof to establish your eligibility for an employment-based preference category lies on the petitioner.

In some preference categories (EB-3) or subcategories (e.g., EB-1B), an employer must file the petition on your behalf. (i.e., be the petitioner).

In other subcategories (e.g., EB-2 when a National Interest Waiver is sought), you can petition for yourself, retaining more control of your destiny.