USCIS Issues Guidance on I-140 Issues and Labor Certifications
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently provided guidance (PDF) on (1) determinations of whether a particular employer falls within the definition of INA § 203(b)(1)(B), thus allowing USCIS to grant, if otherwise approvable, a first preference (EB-1) green card petition filed by that employer on behalf of an outstanding professor or researcher in connection with an offer of employment; (2) procedures for determining whether a labor certification has been filed with a Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) during its validity period; and (3) various issues relating to labor certification applications approved by the Department of Labor and filed in support of I-140 petitions.
Among other things, the guidance clarifies that government agencies do not qualify as “private” employers for outstanding professors and researchers, and generally do not fit within the definition of § 203(b)(1)(B) unless the government agency is shown to be a U.S. university or institution of higher learning. The guidance notes that government agencies that do not fit the definition under § 203(b)(1)(B) may have other available immigration avenues to offer permanent employment to professors or researchers. For example, the guidance notes, assuming all of the eligibility requirements for that visa preference category have been met, a government agency may request an “alien of extraordinary ability” green card classification under INA § 203(b)(1)(A).
The guidance also discusses the 180-day validity period for approved labor certifications that have an ending validity date that falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. USCIS said that it will accept the filing of I-140 petitions on the next business day where the supporting labor certification validity period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday.