More Than 50 Years of Experience
in Effective Immigration Representation

Proving Ability to Pay when Filing I-140 Petition

Immigration Lawyers Serving Columbus & Beyond

When filing the I-140 Immigrant Petition, evidence must be submitted to prove the prospective U.S. employer can pay the proffered wage from the time the priority date is set, either when the labor certification or the I-140 is filed. The employer must establish they can pay until the employee becomes a permanent resident.

If you have questions about the ability to pay issues, the attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA have decades of combined experience in this area. Contact us at (800) 625-3404 for a consultation.

What Kind of Evidence Should Be Used?

Federal regulation dictates what types of evidence may be used. There are two categories of evidence: Required and discretionary. Required evidence includes copies of annual reports, federal tax returns, or audited financial statements. Discretionary evidence includes profit/loss statements, bank account records, or personnel records, which may be submitted in appropriate cases or if requested by the USCIS. If a prospective U.S. employer has 100 or more workers, evidence may include a statement from a financial officer of the organization that shows the ability of the prospective employer to pay the proffered wage.

What if the Employee Changes to a New Employer?

When an employee changes employer under the portability provisions provided by the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act of 2000 (AC21), the new employer is not required to establish its ability to pay when the I-485 is adjudicated. Instead, the new employer must establish that the new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job the employee held with the previous I-140 employer.

How Does an Employer Prove It Has the Ability to Pay?

There are three tests used to determine whether an employer has the ability to pay the proffered wage.

The USCIS should make a favorable determination if the evidence establishes:

  • The petitioner's net income is equal to or greater than the proffered wage
  • The petitioner's net current assets are equal to or greater than the proffered wage
  • The employer submits credible, verifiable evidence that the petitioner is both employing the beneficiary and has paid or is currently paying the proffered wage

If the employer relies on the first two tests to establish its ability to pay, but it fails to provide the required evidence (annual reports, federal tax returns, or audited financial statements), the USCIS will likely issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). However, if the third test is used, and the employer provides evidence that it has actually paid the stated wage, such as W-2s or pay stubs, the case will generally be approved without an RFE.

If you have questions about the ability to pay issues, our Columbus immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are here to help.

Call our offices in Columbus Ohio, Cleveland Ohio, Southfield Michigan and Washington, D.C. Dial (800) 625-3404.

Client Testimonials

  • “I am so thankful!”


  • “Very knowledgeable and professional, and has also treated us more like family than his clients.”


  • “Attentive to detail, listens to your concerns and is available all the time”


  • “WOW! More than we expected”


  • “Attorney Shihab & his team are top notch!”


  • “Highly recommend Gus and his practice for any immigration-related cases.”

    Ankit G.

  • “I would highly recommend his services for any immigration legal advise and support.”


  • “It's immediately apparent that they personally care.”


  • “The best immigration lawyer in USA!”

    Tarek M.

  • “Excellence and Professionalism”

    Clara Zevallos

  • “Very pleasant experience right from day one. I would definitely recommend Mr. Gus and his team”

    Mahmood H.

  • “100% confident my case is in the best hands.”


  • “Experienced & Ethical”


  • “Provide peace of mind to his clients.”


  • “After dealing with many attorneys I decided to work with Mr. Shihab and his office and that was the best decision I took.”

    Previous Client

Retaining an Immigration Lawyer Is an Important Decision

  • More Than 50 Years of Experience in a Variety of Business, Immigration, and
    Other Matters

  • Technologically Savvy Law Firm with Implementation of Numerous Tools to Deliver Case Progress

  • US Immigration Services Offered in Columbus, Cleveland, Southfield, & Washington DC

  • Personal and Exceptional Approach to Processing Visas and Working With Our International Clients