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Petition Process Overview

 If you would like to come to the United States to work permanently or temporarily, your employer or potential employer will need to file a petition on your behalf.

Review the information below to determine which petition should be filed on your behalf.

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

Below is the list of Form-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker categories:

  • E-1 Treaty Trader
  • E-2 Treaty Investor
  • E-3 Treaty Trader (Free Trade Professionals from Australia)
  • H-1B Nonimmigrant in a Specialty Occupation
  • H-1B1 Singapore and Chile Nationals in a Specialty Occupation
  • H-1B2 Department of Defense Worker
  • H-1B3 Fashion Model
  • H-1C Registered Nurses
  • H-2A Seasonal Agricultural Worker
  • H-2B Seasonal Non-Agricultural Worker
  • H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee
  • I Representative of Foreign Information Media
  • L-1A Intracompany Manager or Executive
  • L-1B Intracompany Transferee (with unique or specialized knowledge)
  • O-1 Nonimmigrant of Extraordinary Ability
  • O-2 Support Personnel of an O-1
  • P-1A Internationally recognized athlete
  • P-1B Internationally recognized athlete
  • P-2 Reciprocal Exchange Visitor
  • P-3 Artist of Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Performance
  • R-1 Religious Worker
  • TN North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Professionals

Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker

Below is the list of Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker categories and their criteria:

  • First preference employment-based immigrants
    • Aliens of extraordinary ability
    • Multinational executives
    • Outstanding professors or researchers
  • Second preference employment-based immigrants
    • Members of the profession holding an advanced degree
    • Aliens of exceptional ability
    • Aliens seeking a national interest waiver
  • Third preference employment-based immigrants
    • A professional or skilled worker
    • Other workers
    • Schedule A nurses and physical therapists

Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant

Below is the list of Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant categories:

  • Fourth-preference employment-based immigrants
    • Certain special immigrants

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

Below is the list of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur:

  • Fifth preference employment-based immigrants (entrepreneurs)

For more information on these eligibility categories, see the links to the left.

If we approve a petition submitted by your prospective employer, we will send a Form I-797, Notice of Action/Approval to your employer, who will then forward it to you.  This approval notice may be used as evidence of your status if you are in the United States or can be used to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.  For information on applying for a visa outside the United States, please see the “Consular Processing” link to the right.

It is important to note that an approval notice is not a visa. You must apply for a visa at a United States embassy or consulate.

For information on the visa application process, see the “Department of State” website.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/31/2011