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Same or Similar Job Requirement and Job Portability Under AC21

Hi William,

What kind of evidence that I can provide to apply for job change by using
job portability under AC21, which my I-485 application is pending?


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued the finalized policy memorandum on determining whether a new job is the same or similar in the context of a job change pursuant to the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21). The memo provideed guidance for USCIS adjudicators reviewing applications for adjustment of status for Form I-485.

AC21 allows an I-485 applicant to move to a position that is in the “same or similar occupational classification” as the one set forth in the underlying PERM labor certification once the I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days. The memo provides guidance to adjudicators on the meaning of “same or similar occupational classification” and how AC21 cases are to be evaluated.

The key points in the AC21 portability include:
  • The standard of evidence is “preponderance of the evidence,” which is defined as “more likely than not” or “probably true.”
  • Evidence considered includes the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) standard occupational classification (SOC) codes.
  • Other evidence can include: job duties, skills, experience, education, training, licenses, and any other material and credible evidence.
  • AC21 permits lateral moves, career progression, and/or self-employment.

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