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Use the AC21 Portability to Change Job in the Same or Similar Field

Hi William:

My I-485 application has been pending for 2 years. Now I want to use the AC21 Act's portability provision to change job in the same or similar field. Do I need to notify USCIS for my job change for using AC21 Act? and do I get an approval from USCIS?


Currently, AC21 (American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act) does not have a mandatory filing to notify USCIS. Those who follow the general guidance to notify the USCIS of the use of AC21 do not receive any acknowledgement of acceptance or agreement from the USCIS prior to the final case decision of I-485 application. The USCIS states that the filing procedure would benefit those with retrogressed cases. For those with pending I-485 cases, however, who are facing years of retrogression, it would also open the door to potentially needing filings due to multiple job changes over the course of many years.

USCIS has a proposal for notification of a job change, under the AC21 adjustment-of-status (AOS) portability provisions, to create a system for AOS applicants to file their applications with the USCIS asserting AC21 eligibility. The proposal suggests a required filing, with a fee, requesting USCIS adjudication of the key issue of whether the new employment meets with AC21 requirement of a "same or similar" occupational classification, when compared to the position described in the PERM labor certification and/or I-140 employer petition.

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