Murthy Law firm
Attorney : Shela Murthy
Page URL : http://www.murthy.com/485faq.html#13
Question 13 .
Can I leave my sponsoring employer once I get my green card? TOP
One may switch employers during the I-485 process if (a) the I-485 has been pending for over 180 days and is not yet adjudicated and (b) the offer of new employment is in the same or similar job. While the USCIS may use the description of the job duties from the DOT or the O*NET to determine similarity in jobs, they have verbally agreed that they may be willing to consider a broader definition in the future. Besides job title and description, the salary from the new employer would at least need to satisfy concerns regarding the public charge provisions and should be as closed to the amount listed on the labor certification as possible.
Clearly, the law before AC21 was passed in October 2000 required that a person continue working with the employer that sponsored the green card for at least 6 months to 1 year after obtaining the green card
. Although AC21 allows the changing of employers if the I-485 is not adjudicated within 180 days, there is no change in the law with respect to the intention of the employer to offer and the employee to undertake "permanent," full-time work with the sponsoring employer for the job advertised. Keep in mind that a green card job offer is legally considered a future job offer. Therefore, the employee must have a good-faith intention to work for the employer after the green card is approved, and the employer must have a good-faith intention to employ the employee after the green card is approved. Even if one worked for the sponsoring employer for several years while pursuing the green card process, that would not count as future intent. Generally, 6 months to 1 year after obtaining the green card is a safe time period to change employment. Failure to stay at the sponsoring employer may result in problems at the naturalization stage!