Summer is in full swing, which can often mean longer processing times at federal government agencies due to the workforce being on summer vacation. Employment-based green card applicants may experience longer processing time for their I-485 applications and, as a result, may consider “porting” job offers under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (“AC21”). By porting jobs, the green card applicant can change the offer of employment from one employer to another employer without the employer having to file a new Form I-140.
To lawfully port jobs, the green card applicant must fill a position in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job offer for which the Form I-140 petition was filed and the green card applicant’s I-485 application must have been pending for 180 days or more. The determination of whether the new job offer is in the same or similar occupation is based on:
a) The USDOL’s Standard Occupational Classification (“SOC”) system;
b) The job duties of both positions,
c) The skills, experience, education, training, licenses or certifications specifically required to perform each job,
d) The wages associated with each position; and
e) Any other relevant and credible evidence.
If a green card applicant believes that she qualifies for porting to a new job, she should consult a business immigration lawyer through her new job or individually to help her complete the Form I-485 Supplement J. Once the Supplement J is filed, it requests that the USCIS use the new job offer when making a decision on the green card applicant’s Form I-485 application. The green card applicant should bring a copy of the Supplement J to the green card interview.
Before porting, a green card applicant should consider whether porting to a new job would affect an existing green card repayment agreement that she has with her current employer. If a green card repayment agreement is in place, there would most likely be monetary consequences for leaving the position before the green card is in hand. A green card applicant should speak to a business immigration lawyer to have the contract reviewed before making the decision to port.
For companies or individuals who would like to have their green card repayment agreement reviewed, please contact our firm to speak with an attorney about this service.
Victoria Gentry is an associate attorney with The Immigration Group, P.C. practicing exclusively in the areas of work visas and employment-based green cards. She first became interested in immigration law when her stepfather emigrated from El Salvador to the United States. Now she enjoys assisting corporate clients with a variety of immigration needs including international transfers, visa eligibility, and the green card process. She works primarily with professionals in IT, Engineering, Finance, Pharmacy, and Insurance.