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Did USCIS Immediately Deny your Adjusment Application Following a Job Change?

Jan 15, 2009

The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) allows a foreign worker who is sponsored by his/her employer for the green card to change jobs upon reaching a certain stage in the processing of his adjustment of status (green card) process. The CIS Ombudsman's office has received inquiries noting that the USCIS is not issuing Notices of Intent to Deny following a change of jobs. If a foreign nationals is: 1) beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 (petition for immigrant worker) and 2) has a form I-485 pending for 180 days or more, s/he is eligible to change to a same or similar position. If the underlying, approved Form I-140 is withdrawn and no evidence of a new qualifying offer of employment was submitted, then, the USCIS must issue a Notice of Intent to Deny the pending I-485.

In some circumstances, the USCIS may deny the I-485 application in cases of portability without first issuing a notice of intent to deny in certain limited circumstances. These include, for example, where the beneficiary is ineligible for the benefits of the Form I-485 by statute, or the Form I-140 is withdrawn before form I-485 was pending for 180 days.

If you think your case was erroneously denied, you should contact the CIS Ombudsman's office using DHS Form 7001 with the subject line "AC21 Evidence of Immediate Denial." Include a copy of your denial notice, detailed information as to the reasons for the immediate denial, and, if appropriate, evidence that you submitted a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider. If the office considers the case to be an erroneous denial, they will forward it to the USCIS for further review.

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