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?
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.