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Immigration Issues/Changing jobs after I-140

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QUESTION: Hello,

My husband has applied for GC in the EB2 category and has his I-140 approved. Our priority date is not current yet. I wanted some information regarding changing jobs:

1) If a person is working for company A and has his 140 approved, can he change job to company B and keep the PD, the new job being in the same field(same SOC code) but slightly different job profile.

2) What if the person changes job within company A itself but under a different job profile(in the same field).

3) How much time does it take to get the GC after the PD becomes current and I 485 gets filed (without any RFEs) ?

4) After which stage of the entire GC process can a person freely change jobs without thinking about the new job profile(extent of similarity or difference to old job profile)?

Thanks a lot.

Regards,
Riya

ANSWER: Hi,

Your husband can join Co. B now if company B files an H1B petition for him.

Co. B will need to start the green card process from the beginning (if, as is likely to happen, Co. A does not continue to offer employment to your husband when he obtains his green card), but your husband will be able to keep the existing priority date from Co. A.

If your husband stays with Co. A, it is highly recommended that he retain the job title noted on his I-140 petition. However, modest increases in salary or additional responsibility are OK. Too many changes will require starting the green card process again, as the position noted on the I-140 petition was based on a finding from the Department of Labor that qualified U.S. workers were not found for that particular position.

It typically takes about 6 months for I-485 to be approved after filing, assuming that the priority date continues to be current and no RFE's are issued.

It is generally safe to change jobs without worry about job titles, etc. after at least one year of employment with the sponsoring employer after I-485 approval.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello,

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply.

I was wondering whether it OK under the above circumstances(i.e. I-140 approved but PD not current yet) for the person to accept a promotion within the same company(Company A) and the same department( e.g., from the current position - Engineer to the new position - Senior Engineer with similar job responsibilities and slight increase in wages) if offered. Would there be any issues due do this promotion in the GC process.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Riya

ANSWER: I recommend that the promotion to the title of Senior Engineer be declined at this time since, although I-140 has been approved, the I-485 has not yet been filed (since the priority date is not current) and, moreover, I-485 has not been pending for at least 180 days after filing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello,

If the person with I-140 approved but PD not current changes jobs to Company B and is able to keep the PD(May 2010), and the new LC and I-140 approval in Company B take some time and the EB2 cut off dates for I 485 during that time period become Dec 2010, can the person file his I-485 with PD of May 2010?

Thank you

Answer
If Co. B's PERM is certified, when the new I-140 is filed with the USCIS it will be filed with a copy of the earlier I-140 approval notice (with PD of May 2010) and request that the new I-140 approval through Co. B have the PD of May 2010. Only when the new I-140 is approved can theI-485 be filed, assuming the PD is current upon approval of new I-140.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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