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AC21 Portability after 180 days of 485 filing AC21 Portability after 180 days of 485 filing. Changing employers without affecting green card process.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:20 PM
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Default Candidates confusing HR on AC21

I have learnt something in the past few weeks.

Candidates who have 485 pending and are eliigible to change job per AC21 are not clear what is needed for the change. They talk to the HR of the prospective employer and ask them for one or more of the following,

1. Continue Green card sponsorship
2. "AC 21" letter stating the new job is similar to the old job
3. Responding to RFEs

None of the above are necessary. The only outcome is the HR gets confused and they decide to play it safe by not hiring EADs.

For your own good, stop discussing the topic of AC21 with prospective employers. It is not necessary at all and you will lose some great opportunities over nothing.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersose View Post
I have learnt something in the past few weeks.

Candidates who have 485 pending and are eliigible to change job per AC21 are not clear what is needed for the change. They talk to the HR of the prospective employer and ask them for one or more of the following,

1. Continue Green card sponsorship
2. "AC 21" letter stating the new job is similar to the old job
3. Responding to RFEs

None of the above are necessary. The only outcome is the HR gets confused and they decide to play it safe by not hiring EADs.

For your own good, stop discussing the topic of AC21 with prospective employers. It is not necessary at all and you will lose some great opportunities over nothing.
Please explain why it is not necessary to get "AC 21 letter stating the new job is similar to the old job". If we receive RFE how do we show that it is in same job category?
I agree "Responding to RFEs" may not be their responsibility. But at least we must have offer letter with "same or similar job descriptions" in order to avoid any kind of issues in future.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nonimmi View Post
Please explain why it is not necessary to get "AC 21 letter stating the new job is similar to the old job". If we receive RFE how do we show that it is in same job category?
I agree "Responding to RFEs" may not be their responsibility. But at least we must have offer letter with "same or similar job descriptions" in order to avoid any kind of issues in future.
Simply because it is not the job of HR to compare the new job and old job just like an immigration IO would do it and provide a conclusion. He/she would have to be trained in CIS procedures to be able to do that.

If CIS seeks this clarification, then you submit a letter describing your current job only. It is the IO's job to compare this with your Labor and draw a conclusion. He has to do it anyway, even assuming the HR sent a letter saying they are similar.

By taking the former approach, you are confusing HR by asking them to do something they are not familar with; something outside their scope and something that is not required at all. That is why they filter out EADs rather than deal with the confusion.

Last edited by kaisersose; 08-01-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:38 PM
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Then just ask for an emloyment letter. HR doesn't know about AC21, heck most of the people here who live and breathe the GC process are not very clear about it.
If you think the new job is in the same job category (which are pretty broad to start with) just ask for a more comprehensive offer letter that details some of the functions. There is absolutely no need to bring up
AC 21
GC process support
RFE etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonimmi View Post
Please explain why it is not necessary to get "AC 21 letter stating the new job is similar to the old job". If we receive RFE how do we show that it is in same job category?
I agree "Responding to RFEs" may not be their responsibility. But at least we must have offer letter with "same or similar job descriptions" in order to avoid any kind of issues in future.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kaisersose View Post
Simply because it is not the job of HR to compare the new job and old job just like an immigration IO would do it and provide a conclusion. He/she would have to be trained in CIS procedures to be able to do that.

If CIS seeks this clarification, then you submit a letter describing your current job only. It is the IO's job to compare this with your Labor and draw a conclusion. He has to do it anyway, even assuming the HR sent a letter saying they are similar.

By taking the former approach, you are confusing HR by asking them to do something they are not familar with; something outside their scope and something that is not required at all. That is why they filter out EADs rather than deal with the confusion.
You may be surprised to know these days HR people are very well aware of AC21 and they consult their own legal department or external legal company to issue this letter. I'm in the process of getting one such letter soon. When I tried to explain this to HR person she replied she is "aware of AC21". AC21 is in practice past 7 years. So they are familiar in most cases. I agree there may be some exceptions.

Also without any letter from HR, if I just write and submit my new job roles and send to CIS how they can validate that is correct. So I believe it is absolutely important to get new job offer letter with job descriptions unless tomorrow USCIS relax AC21 rules and issue another memo saying job change rules are not so strict.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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i love ghis topic...good one...I think its like KRose said if you intially sau you dont need and h1b, GC etc and then start talking baout these AC21 and stuff i think this could get more confusing than the original GC and h1b issue,,

iam not sure whats the best soln is but i think if we can get the document of offer letter with the job functions, it would be good....
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ilikekilo View Post
iam not sure whats the best soln is but i think if we can get the document of offer letter with the job functions, it would be good....
You can get that letter anytime - after you join. You do not have to provide a reason to get that letter - which is how it should be done, in my opinion.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:10 PM
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I agree! All you need to send to CIS in case of RFE, is the official job offer letter from the company and a job description of the position you have taken. Almost all good companies have a job description for all their postions. There is no special letter required by CIS, otherwise they would have said so. We are just making it more complicated than it has to be.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonimmi View Post
You may be surprised to know these days HR people are very well aware of AC21 and they consult their own legal department or external legal company to issue this letter.
And in my experience, most HR do not understand the concept, assuming they have even heard about it. The majority of candidates do not understand the concept, so this is not a complaint.

One HR was under the impression that the EAD is work authorization for people who have Green Cards. So she expects to see both documents together to prove eligibility to work.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:17 PM
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I agree guys its a good idea..appreciate ur thoughts...
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersose View Post
You can get that letter anytime - after you join. You do not have to provide a reason to get that letter - which is how it should be done, in my opinion.

ok BUT are you saying taht you dont say anyyhinh to ur prospective emplyer abt anything of ur gc crap, but say u r authorized to work for any employer and stuff and join the company assuming that u are offered...

dont u think u would ever need current company's help in anyways in the future for GC process>
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:40 PM
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Have the HR consult their attorney to ensure that your past job & job offered are similar enough to support A21 so that they would not have to restart the whole process again.

It is important to talk so that you set expectations to them that you might need necessary support from their attorney.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:55 PM
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Default You should inform new company that you will using AC21

Recently i went for an interview for exactly the same title and same job description as my labor. This is a big healtcare software company which is publicly traded in NASDAQ. Everything went well..The technical interview was going awesome until the final interview when the vice president of the business unit asked me "whether i was a citizen or a permanent resident".
At that point of time i had to tell him that i was neither and that i was on EAD and planning to use AC-21. I dont think he understood. They still havent responded to me about their hiring decision.

I am confused. I cant lie to companies about my status. What should we do if we get asked? Any inputs..
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ilikekilo View Post
ok BUT are you saying taht you dont say anyyhinh to ur prospective emplyer abt anything of ur gc crap, but say u r authorized to work for any employer and stuff and join the company assuming that u are offered...

dont u think u would ever need current company's help in anyways in the future for GC process>
No. The only thing you may ever need from your employer is a letter verifying your employment and that too only if there is an RFE.

You need nothing else. This is what I mean by candidates themselves are not aware of what is necessary to change jobs and end up ruining their chances.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:21 PM
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I recently switched to a Fortune 10 company from a Fortune 100 company and these are 10 steps that I took -

1. In the first HR call -
HR - Are you authorized to work for <company name>
Me - Yes, I am currently authorized to work for any employer.
HR - Will you need H1 sponsorship in future?
Me - No
Bottom Line - Why give them more info than they ask for or can understand.

2. Went thru 4 more interviews, Technical, as well as HR - No question asked around status or work authorization.

3. Got the offer letter.

4. Sent offer letter and job description to my attorney and asked them to expedite the review and just give me one of the 2 answers - Yes or No. I told the attorney that I don't want to hear - "ask the HR to change your job description or title" as I knew they won't - No big company will.
Bottom Line - Spend some money (for good attorney) and hold them accountable for the money. Some people suggest that send job description to attorneys before even interviewing to make sure it is same or similar. My view is - if I did that for every freaking interview, I will go bankrupt and THEN for sure I will get stuck in name check

5. Attorney said the 2 jobs were similar and that I don't have to file AC-21. They recommended to respond to RFE, if any in future.

6. Accepted the offere, resigned from old job (2.5 week notice and told my boss I will give him free weeknight/weekend support for another another 2-weeks if needed) , joined the new one.

7. First day at work, while filling I-9 HR lady asked for documents and I gave her my EAD. She made copies, noted the expiry date on the EAD and told me that I will need to give her copy of the renewed EAD or GC before the current expiry date.

8. After about 3-weeks, I asked HR to give me an employment verification letter including my start date, title, salary, 40-hour week thingy and job duties (for sponsoring visitor visa of my family).

9. Gathered the last 2 pay checks of old company, first 2 pay checks of new company, copies of approved labor, approved I-140 and receipt notice of I-485, Copy of current EAD and AD, Old job description, new job description, new offer letter AND most importantly - Exit interview print out where I mentioned that I was leaving the job because of Economic and downturn concerns in <industry>. Also my attorney had asked me to put a document together around the job search. I put all these documents in an envelope and labeled as "Answer to potential AC-21 RFE".

10. Enjoying my partial freedom with the new job.

Last edited by ebizash; 08-01-2008 at 05:27 PM.
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