AC-21 with different SOC codes


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I am in a position where I would like to change jobs based on AC-21. I have an EAD based on applied I-485 (EB1-B) but no other VISA like H1-B. My I-140 was applied for approval in December 2017 so it has been more than 180 days. My new job will have a very similar description as in the current form i485J, however, the SOC code needs to change from 17-2031 (biomedical engineer) to 17-2141 (mechanical engineer). 

1) Will a different SOC code cause a problem for AC-21?

2) Is additional documentation required to show similar job responsibilities apart from a letter from the new employer?

3) Is it advised to wait for AC-21 process to get approved before resigning from the current job and starting the new job?


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  • 2 months later...

The law provides that one can qualify for AC21 with a job in the same OR similar occupational category. USCIS guidance has stated that with an explanation the range of categories may vary more (or it could vary less), but it will depend on the facts. One can certainly submit the I-485J and wait for approval before leaving the existing job. The I-485J does require that the new employer sign off, so such a plan of action would involve the consent of the new employer to waiting.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello Attorney_15

Are you saying that one can not start a new job until I-485 J is approved ?  or you are saying that it  is safest for an applicant  to leave the current employer only after I-485 J is approved by new employer ?

Is 485-j approval a relatively fast process ? Like a month or so ?  

Thank you.



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