Website Q & A - March 1, 2007

Can I Move to Another Employer now that my PERM Labor Certification and I-140 Petition Have been Approved and Still Keep My Case?

Dear Mr. Lee,

I have a PERM labor certification that was approved and my company filed the I-140 petition along with my I-485 adjustment of status application to the U.S.C.I.S. in June 2006. My I-140 petition was approved in September 2006, but my I-485 is still pending. My lawyer told me that it is waiting for security clearances. At this time, I am having trouble with my boss and another company has offered me a better job. But I'm afraid that going to another company will mean that I will have to start all over again on my green card case. If I want to get my green card, am I stuck in this job until my case is approved?

Dear reader:

Under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC-21), you are allowed to move to another employer in the same or similar position and keep your case so long as your I-485 application has been pending 180 days and your I-140 petition has been approved. Your employer cannot withdraw the I-140 petition if these conditions have been met. The U.S.C.I.S. expects that you will notify the agency immediately of the changed circumstances. In the event that U.S.C.I.S. sends out a request for further evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NID), and you are not able to respond with a same or similar position job, your case would be denied. If the evidence of a new qualifying offer of employment is timely filed and it appears that you have a new offer of employment in the same or similar occupation, U.S.C.I.S. adjudicators may consider the approved I-140 to remain valid with respect to the new offer of employment and continue regular processing of the I-485. In your case, you would only have to ensure that your new position is same or similar to the position that you are now holding.


Copyright © 2003-2012 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.