Determining the Employer’s Ability to Pay the Proffered Wage for Employment-Based Immigrant Petitions
When an employer submits an I-140 petition to sponsor a foreign worker for permanent residency, one of the primary requirements is demonstrating to USCIS that it has the ability to pay the prevailing wage. So how does an employer do so?
As part of the initial evidence, USCIS has stated that the sponsoring employer must provide at least one of the three following documents for the most recent tax year:
- Annual report
- Federal tax return
- Audited financial statement
If the company has more than 100 employees, USCIS will permit the employer to provide a written statement from its financial officer confirming that it has the ability to pay the prevailing wage. This statement may be submitted in lieu of the three aforementioned documents. However, USCIS has discretion to determine whether the statement will be sufficient by itself.
If the employee has been working for the company, it may provide proof that he/she has been paid more than the prevailing wage as of the Priority Date. Typically, the employer can provide W-2 forms for the previous year and recent pay stubs showing the current rate of pay and the year-to-date earnings. Note that providing the employee’s pay stubs and W-2 does not obviate the requirement to provide one of the aforementioned initial evidence documents.
USCIS has also listed other documents that may be submitted as secondary evidence to prove its ability to pay the prevailing wage. These include the company’s:
- Bank statements
- Personnel records
- Income and assets of related companies
- Lines of credit