180-Day Portability Rule
The American Competitiveness Act for the 21st Century of 2000 (AC-21) provides, in section 106(c), that if a person has submitted an application for immigration adjustment of status and is under one of the Employment-Based preference categories, he can change jobs and still adjust his status as long as the new job is in the same or a similar occupation and his application for adjustment of status has been pending over 180 days.
There is no requirement that a person remain with their initial employer for 180 days or more after the I-485 is submitted. What is important is that the I-485 not be adjudicated during the first 180 days after submission, and that the I-140 be approved.
We hope that the materials below help you to better understand the workings of this rule.
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- FAQ on “Same or Similar Occupation” under AC-21 (USCIS) (4-7-11)
- I-140 Portability for Employment-Based Adjustment Applicants in Removal Proceedings: Strategies for Challenging Matter of Perez-Vargas (Updated 1-09-08)
- BIA Holds That Immigration Judges Have No Jurisdiction Over 180-Day Portability Issues – Perez Vargas (10-28-05)
- Interim Guidance for Processing Form I-140 EB Immigrant Petitions And Form I-485 and H-1B Petitions under AC-21 (5-12-05)
- INS Memo: Initial Guidance on AC-21 – Includes Section on 180-Day Portability Rule (6-19-01)