I-140 approved, can I leave my current employer a few days after filing I-485?

Hi Everyone,

What would be the consequence of leaving the current employer just after filing for I-485 with an approved I-140 petition? Will my I-485 application still be processed even if I quit the company and join another employer? Could someone please elaborate and help me understand how to navigate this scenario?

Many thanks,

MR

It depends on what you are planning to do.

The AC21 law allows you to change the employer if your i485 has been pending for 180 days.

I plan to work for a new employer. What happens in a lay off scenario if the current employer right after filing I-485 terminates the employee? And also let’s assume that I-140 approval happened less than 180 days when the employee was terminated.

Appreciate your help!

Does this mean that you can go to a new employer and then 180 days after the I-485 peition filing date just file for ac21 portability. Or do you have to restart labor certification (PERM) again? Can the employer revoke the I-140 even if the I-140 has been approved for more than 180 days?

  1. Does this mean that you can go to a new employer and then 180 days after the I-485 peition filing date just file for ac21 portability.

Not sure, but this is what I want to understand too.

  1. Can the employer revoke the I-140 even if the I-140 has been approved for more than 180 days?

It doesn’t matter after 180 days… USCIS will continue to adjudicate the case/petition. They won’t deny I-485 if the employer requests for withdrawing the approved (or unapproved) I-140 petition after 180 days.

In my case my I-140 was approved on Sept 2019. While filing for my I-140 the priority date of August 31st, 2009 from my prior I-140 was used. So my I-140 can’t be revoked I guess. Reading several blogs, I believe if that is the case I can change my job with a pending I-485 even if 180 days have not passed because I have an approved I-140.

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I hope it does not cause an issue because 180 days have not passed since the filing of I-485.

If you leave before 180 days, the new employer will have to do your PERM, i140 and then file i485 as per my understanding.

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+1… Yes, that’s my understanding too. If the sponsor withdraws the approved I-140 petition before the 180 days have run, portability does not apply, and green card application will be denied. One has to undergo whole process again, though one retains the old Priority Date for new I-140.

So attorneys generally advise against changing jobs before the ‘safe harbor’ period begins.

Moreover, leaving before 180 days can also lead to issue of RFE to determine if the original offer of employment was bona fide (a real offer)…

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What if the employer doesn’t withdraw the approved I-140. In my case I-140 has been approved for more than 180 days. So it can’t be withdrawn.

And what’s happens if the employee is laid off or the company shutters?

So I spoke with a well know immigration lawyer. He said if you leave before 180 days of your I-485 pending and USCIS gets to know then it might issue a notice to deny your I-485. He knows people who left and got denied and who left and nothing happened to them. Your company might send a notice to USCIS that the job offer for the I-485 is no longer available, so it is risky. You are not doing anything illegal and you don’t have a legal obligation to let USCIS know.

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Makes sense. Thanks for your inputs!