Can I Change Employers While My Green Card Is Pending?

Can I Change Employers While My Green Card Is Pending?

You wouldn’t be the first employee to think whether you might find a better job with another company or firm – perhaps you want to escape a tyrannical boss, the job duties are more in line with your skills, or the job will simply pay better. However, if you’re a foreign employee and waiting for your green card, now might not be a good time for such a move.

Fortunately, changing your position while waiting for your last approval of the green card application is possible if your I-485 application has been pending for at least 180 days. However, you should consider rules to portability less you face denial of your application.

Has your I-140 been approved?

Your chances of approval based upon portability increase when your I-140 petition is approved. If your I-140 is approved and you change positions after your I-485 has been pending for 180 days, your green card may be approved even if your employer stops the I-140 petition.

However, if your employer withdraws the I-140 petition and you change employers while your I-140 petition is pending approval, your I-485 application will be denied. Remember, the government can still reject you for other reasons even if your sponsor doesn’t withdraw the pending I-140.

Your I-485 application will be automatically denied after the denial of your I-140, even if it has been pending for 180 days. Our recommendation is, don’t change employment until the I-140 is approved to avoid denials.

Is your application dependent on a job offer?

You can’t change positions if your green card category is dependent on a job offer because your application depends upon your sponsor (employer).

The ‘safe harbor’ period

You shouldn’t leave your employment before this period, even if your I-140 petition is approved. While the government can’t deny your I-485 application only because you changed your employer before 180 days, the government may issue an RFE (Request for Evidence) to find out if the original employment offer was a real offer (or bona fide).

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