AC-21 Portability for Pending I-485 Petitions

The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) permits an individual to seek new employment when the following conditions are met:

New employment must be the “same or similar” occupational classification;

Form I-140 has been approved, or is approvable when filed concurrently with I-485;

Form I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days.

* The new job does not have to be in the same geographic location

* The new job does not have to pay the same or a higher salary

* A new labor certification is not required.

About the “Same or Similar” position Requirement:

To be eligible for AC21, your new employment must be the “same or similar” occupational classification to the one described in initial Form I-140.

There is no clear definition of what constitute “same or similar,” but a USCIS adjudicator will consider the following factors:

Job Description: your job duties of the new employment will be compared with the job descriptions contained in your I-140 or labor certification (ETA 750 or PERM).

SOC code: The SOC code assigned to the I-140 based on your labor certification, or an appropriate code determined by the adjudicator if LC was not required, will be used to judge whether the new employment is the same or similar occupational classification.

Wage information: your new salary should not be significantly different from the previous one, however it doesn’t have to be exactly the same or necessarily higher.

Using AC21 if leaving your employer before the 180 days:

The fact that you have left your previous employer prior to your I-485 pending for 180 days is not the basis for denial of your portability case since adjustment of status is based on prospective employment, rather than an existing one.

However your I-485 case will be denied if any of the following happens:

Your I-140 is withdrawn by your employer before your I-485 reaches 180 days; or

Your I-140 is denied by the USCIS at any time; or

Your approved I-140 is revoked at any time, except when it is based on a withdrawal request from your employer (not fraud related, for example) submitted after your I-485 has been pending for 180 days; or

You fail to prove that a bona fide employment relationship existed at the time of filing.

So leaving too early obviously makes it more difficult to establish your case, especially if your employer is no longer willing to cooperate.

Notifying USCIS after changing jobs under AC21:

It is recommended that you notify USCIS after changing jobs under AC21.

If an adjudicator has no knowledge of your using AC21 portability, and there is something wrong with your I-140 (revoked, for example), the adjudicator is required to issue a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) your I-485.

Notify USCIS after changing jobs under AC21 usually leads to a faster approval of the I-485.

Can my employer withdraw the approved I-140?

Yes, because an I-140 is the property of your employer, not yours. However this will not affect your ability to port to a new employer as long as your I-485 has been pending for more than 180 days.

Calculating the 180 days for AC21 eligibility:

The 180 days is based on calendar days (not business days). The clock starts with the “Received Date” of your I-485 application, as indicated in your I-797 receipt notice.

Using AC21 portability multiple times:

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements each time, you are able to port your I-140 more than once.

Note that frequent job changes may raise concerns of an adjudicator regarding the “permanency” of your job offers.

Although you would have no choice when facing lay-offs or a company shut-down, you should be aware of the negative impacts of “job hopping.”

Is the new job required to be in the same geographic location?

No, but it is required to be in the same or similar occupational classification. This means same or similar job title and job duties.

Does my new employer have to prove “Ability to Pay?

USCIS will not request proof of “ability to pay” from your new employer but they may issue RFE to verify the legitimacy of your new employer as well as your job offer.

While adjusting your I-485, USCIS will also evaluate the potential of you becoming a public charge so it is essential that your new employer has relevant materials ready, which may include the same documents required as proof of ability to pay.

These include company tax returns or audited financial statements.

Please use the form below to contact us with any questions about the AC-21 portability process or to schedule a consultation:

Your First and Last Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Company / Organization

Your Telephone #

I am the:


Client Reviews

I've had the pleasure of conducting business with this law firm for the last 10 years. They have been nothing but the best for every aspect of immigration need I had. From F1 all the way to citizenship. They're probably the most affordable, knowledgeable, and most efficient immigration law firm out there. Plus, they always provide responses to questions in a very timely manner. Trust me, other immigration law firms will cost you an arm and a leg for the same or less of a service compared to this law firm. Give them a call, check out their website. You will not regret it.
Andy Glasgow
Andy Glasgow
17:26 27 Mar 17
Because of John and his team my wife and I were able to travel back to the states, get married and have a Green Card without any headaches. John’s efforts were amazing and it shows because my wife and I didn’t have to go to the Green card interview. We had a strong enough case to receive the Green card in the mail. If you’re seeking a Lawyer that will be impartial, he’s your guy.
19:18 23 Feb 17
Me & husband went through immigration process which thankfully was made easy with the help and services of Marc Tyler Inc. Our direct contact was John which i want to personally say Thank You ! The service provided was efficient, fast, affordable prompt answers in a timely fashion. I would recommend Marc Tyler Inc to anyone who need immigration done fast, easy, friendly & with no hidden charges.
Aleksandra Stoycheva
Aleksandra Stoycheva
15:27 26 Jan 17
I could not have asked for better service. I will definitely be coming back to get the green card process done. The fees are extremely reasonable and they stick with their clients the entire way. I had so many questions during this process, and each one of them were answered very quickly and with out most professionalism. This firm is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone.
bryan mowrey
bryan mowrey
06:41 25 Nov 16
Marc and John Dorer worked on our case to file for AOS after our L1A was approved.Marc and John are professionals and extremely reasonable-priced. The reason they are able to cut the price is because they don't spend time consulting you or guiding you and will never get on call.All communications are email only, so if you know precisely what you want they will do all the paper-work, follow the trail and get the job done. If you are confused and need advice and consulting, they may not be the right lawyers.But since we were doing our AOS, it worked out perfectly well and they did their job extremely professionally.Would recommend them every time to get the work done.
hardik parikh
hardik parikh
01:58 08 Feb 17
At first I thought I could have very well gone through the green card application process on my own and saved all lawyer fees. Its funny how some lawyers can charge in excess of 2K for this. However at Taylor and Associates the price seemed more reasonable and felt it made sense to go with one at that price. There were some doubts that arose in our mind which they cleared in a timely manner and seemed very knowledgeable in this area. Its for moments like these when having a professional around helps. While we can get busy with our lives and with laws constantly changing, I would definitely recommend them - a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Callistus Pereira
Callistus Pereira
17:51 06 Jun 17
I am US citizen. We hired Marc's firm for my wife's Green Card process, We are extremely happy with their services.They are one of the best service providers in the country. Price is very affordable. John is awesome. He responded to our queries on time with very useful information. We highly recommend this firm to anybody looking for affordable and the best immigration services. it was an awesome experience working with this team.
Narsimha M
Narsimha M
13:57 04 Aug 17
Mark and team went above all my expectations of an 'online' service agency I went in with very low expectations to match the low cost of the service and was amazed that the experience was no different than going through an expensive attorney. They were very prompt on responses, very patient and also very knowledgeable on every facet of the application (including a follow up checklist). I would highly recommend them considering the low cost they charge and the high risk we take by doing this ourselves
First Dhalsite
First Dhalsite
22:27 01 Sep 17
USVISANOW streamlined the paperwork which saved us so much time. This also reduced the stress involved in filling out the paperwork. They also are very understanding and respond very quickly to questions and emails. Jackline is now a US citizen which took less than 5 months. Thank you Mr. Taylor and your team. From Brian and Jacky.
Jackline Osero
Jackline Osero
17:32 12 Sep 17
The best law agency I have ever worked with. Very responsive, experienced. I trusted my green process to them and it was done perfectly without and issues in minimum possible period. Thank You Very much Marc, John and others!!!
Hrach Gyulzadyan
Hrach Gyulzadyan
16:38 30 Sep 17
My husband and I worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylor's office, and his services exceeded our expectations. He was very knowledgeable, responsive, and our Green Card process and interview from start to finish went smoothly. Thank you so much, John, for your dedication to our case and all your help. I would highly recommend USAVISANOW to all!
Sophia Nguyen
Sophia Nguyen
17:26 09 Oct 17
Marc and John helped me apply and get my green card. They are very specific about needed documents and other details. Also, they are very responsive when you have a question. I know I emailed them several times just to ask questions that I could have found answers online myself. They are very patient and professional. If you want to get great services with reasonable fees contact them!
Amin Bagheri
Amin Bagheri
11:54 12 Oct 17
Used the services of this office for Green Card through AOS and was mainly in contact with John Dorer. I was unsure about their services at first, considering the unusually affordable cost but was pleasantly surprised by their prompt responses to all our questions and their timely preparing and handling of our documents! Will be using their services again when filing for removal of condition! Definitely recommended!
Lisa Lorentzon
Lisa Lorentzon
22:56 10 Dec 17
my wife and i worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylors Associates. He's services were awesome and amazing. i would recommend him to anybody applying for their permanent resident to work with them.
Seun Olanrewaju
Seun Olanrewaju
15:33 22 Dec 17
I was very pleased with their professional service from the beginning to the end for my citizenship application. I am a professional working in the higher education and somewhat familiar with the immigration process. For that reason, I was thinking of applying it by myself but I found Taylor and Associates whose service fee is very affordable and worth of my time. Indeed, they found some of minor mistakes in my application, which could have delayed much longer for my application process. Luckily, they caught and fixed them immediately. Their communication was excellent. In fact, everything was very smooth. Even after I had the approval notice, they followed up with valuable advices. I strongly recommend their service if you need immigration services. Thank you Marc and John for your excellent services.
Dominic Choo
Dominic Choo
17:12 23 Dec 17

Read More Client Reviews