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Part E - Employment-Based Immigration

In May 2020, USCIS retired its Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), a collection of our immigration policies and procedures. We are working quickly to update and incorporate all of the AFM content into the USCIS Policy Manual, the agency’s centralized online repository for immigration policies. Until then, we have moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding Policy Manual Part. To the extent that a provision in the Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the Policy Manual prevails. If you have questions or concerns about any discrepancies among these resources, contact

AFM Chapter 22 - Employment-Based Petitions, Entrepreneurs and Special Immigrants (External) (PDF, 755.15 KB)


Legal Authorities

20 CFR 656 - Labor Certification Process for Permanent Employment of Aliens in the United States

20 CFR 656.10 - General Instructions

20 CFR 656.15 - Applications for labor certification for Schedule A occupations

20 CFR 656.17 - Basic labor certification process

20 CFR 656.20 - Audit Procedures

20 CFR 656.26 - Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals review of denials of labor certification

20 CFR 656.3 - Definitions

20 CFR 656.5 - Schedule A

8 CFR 204.5 - Petitions for employment-based immigrants

INA 201 - Worldwide level of immigration

INA 202 - Numerical limitations on individual foreign states

INA 203 - Allocation of immigrant visas

INA 203(b)(2) - Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability

INA 203(b)(3) - Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers

INA 2048 CFR 204 - Procedure for granting immigrant status

INA 212(a)(5) - Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants


Appendix: Sample Notice of Filing

There is no specific form that petitioning employers must use to comply with the notice of filing requirements for Schedule A petitions. The following is a sample notice of filing that petitioners may elect to use in the workplace. USCIS developed this sample for stakeholders’ convenience. It is not intended to be relied upon to create or confer any right(s) or benefit(s), substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any person or other party in benefit applications before USCIS, in removal proceedings, in litigation with the United States, or in any other form or manner.

Officers should accept notices that are modeled after the sample, but should not require use of the exact sample. Petitioning employers may use other notice formats as long as they comply with the DOL regulations.

Notice of the Filing of the Application for Permanent Employment Certification

This notice is being provided as a result of the filing of an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089). The employer intends to permanently employ a foreign national in the job opportunity described below.

Any person may provide documentary evidence bearing on the application to the Certifying Officer of the U.S. Department of Labor. The address of the Certifying Officer is:


This Notice of Filing will be posted between 30 and 180 days before filing the permanent labor certification application.


EMPLOYER’S NAME: _________________________________________________________

POSITION TITLE: ____________________________________________________________

POSITION DUTIES: __________________________________________________________


RATE OF PAY: $________ per ____________

ADDRESS(ES) OF EMPLOYMENT: ______________________________________________



  • There is no bargaining representative for the job opportunity with the employer in the location(s) of intended employment.

  • This notice was clearly visible and unobstructed while posted. It was posted for at least ten (10) consecutive business days in a conspicuous location in the workplace, where the employer’s U.S. workers could readily read the posted notice, including but not limited to locations in the immediate vicinity of the wage and hour notices.

  • DATE POSTED: __________________________________ 

  • DATE REMOVED: ________________________________ 

  • LOCATION(S) WHERE THE NOTICE WAS POSTED: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 [SIGNATURE]                                             DATE

___________________________       ___________________________




POLICY ALERT - Schedule A Designation

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address Schedule A designations.

Read More
Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF, 327.05 KB) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].