New Rules Establish Permanent Portability for Employment-Based I-485 Adjustment Applications

Supplement J added to the adjustment of status application process for certain employment-based applicants.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published regulations concerning several employment-based immigration areas. These regulations on November 18, 2016. Called, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” these will become effective on January 17, 2017.

The regulation introduces a new “Supplement J,” which USCIS may request from applicants for employment-based adjustment of status (a green card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S.) and their employers.

Its purpose is to confirm continuing employment in the same job with the employer that sponsored the person by filing an I-140 petition or to provide information concerning a new job in a “same or similar occupation.”

Under AC21 (American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act), an adjustment applicant can change jobs with the same employer or accept a new job with a different employer once the I-485 application has been pending 180 days and still receive approval of the application. The regulation defines a “same” job as “an occupation that resembles in every relevant respect the occupation for which the underlying employment-based immigrant visa petition was approved.”

A “similar” job is “an occupation that shares essential qualities or has a marked resemblance or likeness with the occupation for which the underlying employment-based immigrant visa petition was approved.”

Prior guidance suggests that USCIS will take a somewhat liberal reading of same or similar to provide adjustment applicants with maximum flexibility in changing jobs and maintaining validity of their adjustment of status applications.