Text of new AC21 memo part 1(Section A &B)

jaxen

Volunteer Moderator
#1
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
HQBCIS 70/6.2.8 - P
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
August 4, 2003

MEMORANDUM FOR SERVICE CENTER DIRECTORS, BCIS
REGIONAL DIRECTORS, BCIS
FROM: William R. Yates /s/ Janis Sposato
Acting Associate Director for Operations
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
Department of Homeland Security

SUBJECT: Continuing Validity of Form I-140 Petition in accordance with Section 106(c) of
the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21)
(AD03-16)

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide field offices with guidance on processing
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, when the beneficiary
of an approved Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker, is eligible to change employers
under §106(c) of AC21.

On January 29, 2001, the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (Service)
Office of Field Operations issued a memorandum entitled “Interim Guidance for Processing
H-1B Applications for Admission as Affected by the American Competitiveness in the
Twenty-First Century Act of 2002, Public Law 106-313.” On June 19, 2001, the Office of
Programs issued a follow-up memorandum entitled “Initial Guidance for Processing H-1B
Petitions as Affected by the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (Public
Law 106-313) and Related Legislation (Public Law 106-311) and (Public Law 106-396).” On
February 28, 2003, Immigration Services Division issued a memorandum entitled “Procedures
for concurrently filed family-based or employment-based Form I-485 when the underlying visa
petition is denied.” These memoranda remain in effect. On July 31, 2002, the Service published
an interim rule allowing, in certain circumstances, the concurrent filing of Form I-140 and Form
I-485. Previous Service regulations required an alien worker to first obtain approval of the
underlying Form I-140 before applying for permanent resident status on the Form I-485.
Institution of the concurrent filing process, and other issues relating to revocation of approval of
Form I-140 petitions, have resulted in questions on how to process adjustment applications when
the alien beneficiary claims eligibility benefits under §106(c) of AC21 due to a change in his or
her employment.


A. Approved Form I-140 Visa Petitions and Form I-485 Applications
The AC21 §106(c) states:
A petition under subsection (a)(1)(D) [since re-designated section 204(a)(1)(F) of the
Act] for an individual whose application for adjustment of status pursuant to section 245
has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more shall remain valid with
respect to a new job if the individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the
same or a similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed.
Accordingly, guidance in the June 19, 2001, memorandum provides that the labor
certification or approval of a Form I-140 employment-based (EB) immigrant petition shall
remain valid when an alien changes jobs, if:
(a) A Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, on the basis of the EB
immigrant petition has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180
days or more; and
(b) The new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job
for which the certification or approval was initially made.
This policy is still in effect and has not changed as a result of implementation of the
concurrent filing process.
If the Form I-140 (“immigrant petition”) has been approved and the Form I-485
(“adjustment application”) has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more (as
measured from the Form I-485 receipt date), the approved Form I-140 will remain valid even if
the alien changes jobs or employers as long as the new offer of employment is in the same or
similar occupation.1 If the Form I-485 has been pending for less than 180 days, then the
approved Form I-140 shall not remain valid with respect to a new offer of employment.


B. Provisions in Cases of Revocation of the Approved Form I-140
1AC21 also provides that any underlying labor certification also remains valid if the
conditions of §106(c) are satisfied.
As discussed above, if an alien is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and is also
the beneficiary of a Form I-485 that has been pending 180 days or longer, then the approved
Form I-140 remains valid with respect to a new offer of employment under the flexibility
provisions of §106(c) of AC21.
Accordingly, if the employer withdraws the approved Form I-140 on or after the date that
the Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 shall remain valid under
the provisions of §106(c) of AC21. It is expected that the alien will have submitted evidence to
the office having jurisdiction over the pending Form I-485 that the new offer of employment is
in the same or similar occupational classification as the offer of employment for which the
petition was filed. Accordingly, if the underlying approved Form I-140 is withdrawn, and the
alien has not submitted evidence of a new qualifying offer of employment, the adjudicating
officer must issue a Notice of Intent to Deny the pending Form I-485. See 8 CFR
103.2(b)(16)(i). If the evidence of a new qualifying offer of employment submitted in response
to the Notice of Intent to Deny is timely filed and it appears that the alien has a new offer of
employment in the same or similar occupation, the BCIS may consider the approved Form I-140
to remain valid with respect to the new offer of employment and may continue regular
processing of the Form I-485. If the applicant responds to the Notice of Intent to Deny, but has
not established that the new offer of employment is in the same or similar occupation, the
adjudicating officer may immediately deny the Form I-485. If the alien does not respond or fails
to timely respond to the Notice of Intent to Deny, the adjudicating officer may immediately deny
the Form I-485.
If approval of the Form I-140 is revoked or the Form I-140 is withdrawn before the
alien’s Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 is no longer valid with
respect to a new offer of employment and the Form I-485 may be denied. If at any time the
BCIS revokes approval of the Form I-140 based on fraud, the alien will not be eligible for the
job flexibility provisions of §106(c) of AC21 and the adjudicating officer may, in his or her
discretion, deny the attached Form I-485 immediately. In all cases an offer of employment must
have been bona fide, and the employer must have had the intent, at the time the Form I-140 was
approved, to employ the beneficiary upon adjustment. It should be noted that there is no
requirement in statute or regulations that a beneficiary of a Form I-140 actually be in the
underlying employment until permanent residence is authorized. Therefore, it is possible for an
alien to qualify for the provisions of §106(c) of AC21 even if he or she has never been employed
by the prior petitioning employer or the subsequent employer under section 204(j) of the Act.
Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed via e-mail through appropriate
channels to Joe Holliday at Service Center Operations or to Mari Johnson in Program and
Regulation Development.
 

jaxen

Volunteer Moderator
#2
Rest of the Memo- 20.2 validity

Accordingly, the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) is revised as follows:
Ë 1. Chapter 20.2 of the AFM is revised by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
20.2 Petition Validity.
(c) Validity after Revocation or Withdrawal. Pursuant to the provisions of section 106(c)
of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), Public Law
106-313, the approval of a Form I-140 employment-based (EB) immigrant petition shall
remain valid when an alien changes jobs, if:
$ A Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, on the basis of the EB immigrant
petition has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more; and
$ The new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job for
which the certification or approval was initially made.
If the Form I-140 has been approved and the Form I-485 has been filed and
remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more (as measured from the form I-485 receipt
date), the approved Form I-140 will remain valid even if the alien changes jobs or
employers as long as the new offer of employment is in the same or similar occupation.
If the Form I-485 has been pending for less than 180 days, then the approved Form I-
140 shall not remain valid with respect to a new offer of employment.
Accordingly, if the employer withdraws the approved Form I-140 on or after the
date that the Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 shall
remain valid under the provisions of §106(c) of AC21. It is expected that the alien will
have submitted evidence to the office having jurisdiction over the pending Form I-485
that the new offer of employment is in the same or similar occupational classification as
the offer of employment for which the petition was filed. Accordingly, if the underlying
approved Form I-140 is withdrawn, and the alien has not submitted evidence of a new
qualifying offer of employment, the adjudicating officer must issue a Notice of Intent to
Deny the pending Form I-485. See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(16)(i). If the evidence of a new
qualifying offer of employment submitted in response to the Notice of Intent to Deny is
timely filed and it appears that the alien has a new offer of employment in the same or
similar occupation, the BCIS may consider the approved Form I-140 to remain valid with
respect to the new offer of employment and may continue regular processing of the
Form I-485. If the applicant responds to the Notice of Intent to Deny, but has not
established that the new offer of employment is in the same or similar occupation, the
adjudicating officer may immediately deny the Form I-485. If the alien does not respond
or fails to timely respond to the Notice of Intent to Deny, the adjudicating officer may
immediately deny the Form I-485.

If approval of the Form I-140 is revoked or the Form I-140 is withdrawn before
the alien’s Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 is no
longer valid with respect to a new offer of employment and the Form I-485 may be
denied. If at any time the BCIS revokes approval of the Form I-140 based on fraud, the
alien will not be eligible for the job flexibility provisions of §106(c) of AC21 and the
adjudicating officer may, in his or her discretion, deny the attached Form I-485
immediately. In all cases an offer of employment must have been bona fide, and the
employer must have had the intent, at the time the Form I-140 was approved, to employ
the beneficiary upon adjustment. It should be noted that there is no requirement in
statute or regulations that a beneficiary of a Form I-140 actually be in the underlying
employment until permanent residence is authorized. Therefore, it is possible for an
alien to qualify for the provisions of §106(c) of AC21 even if he or she has never been
employed by the prior petitioning employer or the subsequent employer under section
204(j) of the Act.
 

srbose

Registered Users (C)
#4
To Jaxen, Reply Solicted.

If approval of the Form I-140 is revoked or the Form I-140 is withdrawn before the alien’s Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 is no longer valid with respect to a new offer of employment and the Form I-485 may be denied.

Sir My Question is?

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MAY BE DENIED? IS IT MEANING USCIS MAY APPROVE IF FORM I-140 IS WITHDRAWN BEFORE THE ALIEN’S FORM I-485 HAS BEEN PENDING 180 DAYS.
 

LiveAndLetLive

Registered Users (C)
#5
Can you someone explain this in plain english?

Does this mean that for concurrent filers or otherwise if the three conditions given below are satisfied, you are free to change jobs?

  • Your 140 is approved
  • 485 is pending for more than 180 days
  • Your new job has similar job description

Please advise
 

kumarss

Registered Users (C)
#6
Has any gentleman replied this Q? : :confused:

LiveAndLetLive said:
Can you someone explain this in plain english?

Does this mean that for concurrent filers or otherwise if the three conditions given below are satisfied, you are free to change jobs?

  • Your 140 is approved
  • 485 is pending for more than 180 days
  • Your new job has similar job description

Please advise
 

Ziri

Registered Users (C)
#8
jaxen

That was too much reading for me but what I picked is that you can use AC21 if your I-140 is approved and I-485 is past 180 days. My question is when I use AC21 do my new employer still have to prove ability to pay me. I want to use AC21 but with a new company just starting this month and has never filled any taxes.
 

kmunna

Registered Users (C)
#9
yes, USCIS can ask before approving 485 that new employer should prove ability to pay. although i didn't see in writing anywhere.
 

mtlcanadian

Registered Users (C)
#11
"MAY"....

If approval of the Form I-140 is revoked or the Form I-140 is withdrawn before the
alien’s Form I-485 has been pending 180 days, the approved Form I-140 is no longer valid with
respect to a new offer of employment and the Form I-485 may be denied.

Notice the "may be denied". Does it leave the possibility that one can somehow salvage something?
 

plztoday

Registered Users (C)
#12
Got an Rfe on I485-copies of all I 94 are required--the problem is , I do not have the first and the second one. I was a student at that time and in 1999 they used to use the same I94 number so i have the number.I also have the I120 form issued to the students and can show that was never out of status.

My question is if i submit the I94 i have and not all of them as asked in the RFE will they reject my application?and will loose all my hope and dreams... :(
 

m_img

Registered Users (C)
#13
Got an Rfe on I485-copies of all I 94 are required--the problem is , I do not have the first and the second one. I was a student at that time and in 1999 they used to use the same I94 number so i have the number.I also have the I120 form issued to the students and can show that was never out of status.

My question is if i submit the I94 i have and not all of them as asked in the RFE will they reject my application?and will loose all my hope and dreams... :(
Sorry, I can't give you any insight into this. Only thing is that you can argue that you're suppose to return all I-94s when you leave country. And there is room for entering one I-94 which is your last/current I-94.

I don't they could deny based on this. If they do, you can appeal. Is it documented somewhere that copies of all I-94s are required?

I really don't understand why would they want all old I-94s. Is this normal? Shouldn't USCIS have the records of all previous I-94s issued?

How is USCIS going to know if you have submitted all previous I-94s?
 

manwithnoname

Registered Users (C)
#14
Usually all I-94s since I-485 filing may be necessary. Once an individual departs the U.S. only the latest I-94 need to be submitted. Please note, while living in the U.S. a new I-94 (obtained as change / extension of status) overrides the old one.
 
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