AC 21 Portability

"The Right Immigration Attorney Makes All The Difference"

If an individual has an approved I-140 petition and an adjustment of status application which has been pending 180 days or more and the individual wishes to change employers, he may use AC21 to move his adjustment of status application to a new employer provided the job is the same or substantially similar to the one for which his I-140 was approved.. The benefits of AC21 portability are available even if there is not an available visa number for the applicant. As long as the adjustment of status applicant previously filed an I-485 when his priority date was current and I-485 remains pending, he does not need to have a current priority date to change jobs via porting his adjustment of status to a new employer under AC21. Multiple job changes are permitted under AC21. H-1B visas may also be ported under the provisions of AC21, at times even in cases in which the employee did not work for the original petitioning employer on the initially approved H-1B visa.

Potential problems which may arise in AC21 adjustment of status portability include:

  • salary differentials which are too great;
  • continual job changes which could indicate that the new job is not permanent in nature, but temporary; and
  • the impact of revocation of the approved I-140 on the adjustment of status applicant who has used AC21.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stated in a 2003 memo that if the sponsoring employer revokes an approved I-140 petition after the I-485 application has been pending for 180 days or more, and there has been no notification on file that the foreign national is using AC21 portability, USCIS would then issue a Notice of Intent to Deny the I-485. In order to prevent USCIS from issuing a Notice of Intent to Deny, it is prudent for the porting adjustment of status applicant to notify USCIS of the job change using AC21 portability as soon as possible. Those who use AC21 portability and receive a Notice of Intent to Deny should immediately contact an experienced immigration attorney. May Law Group, LLC, strongly advises those individuals considering using AC21 portability to engage an immigration lawyer with experience in AC21 notifications prior to utilizing AC21. May Law Group, LLC, has the experience to promptly prepare an accurate and complete AC21 portability notification in a matter of days, permitting our clients to move rapidly to new employment with confidence that a proper notification has been filed with USCIS.

May Law Group, LLC's immigration attorneys frequently file AC21 portability notifications with USCIS. Our AC21 portability notifications contain the relevant law and memorandums and, when the new job is substantially similar to the original position for which the I-140 was initially approved, utilize a careful matching of the applicable job codes.

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