When a foreign worker has been working in the US on either an H1B or L1 employment based visa, he could be eligible to file for Permanent Residency in the US that leads him to acquire a Green Card. This is done by filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
Under certain circumstances, USCIS could deny this I-140 petition leaving the employee stumped for next steps. We have outlined a few options that can be explored in such a situation –
- The employer can reapply Form I-140. They should ensure that all requirements are met and every query mentioned in the denial letter has been addressed.
- Appeal the Denial. If you and your immigration lawyer decide to appeal the denial, you will have to file Form I-290B along with its filing fee within 30 days of receiving the denial notice. Your denial or revocation notice will include information about your appeal rights. The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) will review it and take a decision. This usually has a wait time of six months.
- Motion to Reopen. If you are able to substantiate the original I-140 with any new evidence that will strengthen your petition, you may request for a Motion to Reopen or MTR.
- Contact an immigration lawyer. If I-140 and I-485 (Application to Adjust) have been filed concurrently, and if the I-140 is denied for whatever reason then the chances are that the I-485 will be denied as well. It is imperative to contact a good immigration lawyer to seek out legal advice.
Things to remember when reacting to a denied Form I-140 –
- Just because your I-140 was denied, you don’t lose status in the US. You can continue to stay on your original non-immigrant status. Depending on each individual case, discuss next steps with your immigration lawyer.
- Send your petition to appeal to the original address where he denial came from, not the AAO office.
- Under certain circumstances, the filing fees could be waived.
- Besides addressing the inadequacies within the original I-140 petition and providing ample supporting documents, there is no requirement for additional briefs and detailing of situation.
If you are looking to reapply a denied I-140 or want to explore other options, you may want to speak with a qualified legal expert
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