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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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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 11:30 AM
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Default Used AC21 Twice So Far...

I'm currently on my 4th EAD & AP, and I used AC21 twice so far to switch jobs (similar job descriptions, including the specific technologies I worked on). On both occasions, I have not informed USCIS. My attorney said one is not legally required to do so, and that we could respond if there is any RFE.

But I also know that there are lot of attorneys out there who recommend informing USCIS about the job change. I don't personally know of anyone who have used AC21 and went on to get the green card, so I can't really tell which approach is better. In either case, make sure to have all relevant paper work with you - specifically the experience letters from old employers with proper job descriptions.

As for the salary increases when changing jobs, I did talk to more than one attorney about this. And what I heard consistently was that higher salary is not as much of a problem as lower salary could be. In my case, I had salary increases of more than 30% each time I changed jobs, and I am doing fine so far. Whether that becomes a problem for me or not, I will deal with it when it happens.

I traveled out of the country a couple of times using AP. On my return to US, at the port of entry (SFO), I was asked if I still worked for the company that originally sponsored my GC application. I told them I changed employers using AC21, and that I was not legally required to inform USCIS about the job change. And they let me go without causing any trouble. Not sure if anyone else had different experiences in such case, but the immigration officers at SFO seem to be somewhat easier to deal with (assuming you haven't done anything wrong, of course).

I did have trouble with AC21 once. I ended up having a gap between my 2nd and 3rd EADs (so did my wife too), as we tried to do too much 'optimization' of EADs. Well, we learned the hard way that 'optimization' effort is bad, as both of us had to stop working during the gap. It's not a very pleasant feeling having to explain our respective employers that we had such issue. We lost money too, as we couldn't be legally paid during the gap - in addition to the unnecessary stress. I wish USCIS issues EADs with longer validity period - something like 3 years (but I once heard Aman say that they couldn't do so due to a software glitch in their system!!). In any case, we are now filing for EAD renewals well in advance of the current one's expiry.

Other issues with AC21 that we faced are things like having to pay for EAD and AP renewals every year, which is quite expensive. I guess you could negotiate this with your new employer when changing jobs. And the sheer inability to change your job roles or take on more responsibilities (on paper too!) is frustrating, but that is more of a lengthy GC processing symptom than an AC21 issue.

All things considered, I think AC21 is good. It's got it's set of issues, especially if you don't use it wisely, but it at least lets you have some kind of progress in your careers. The way I see it, if there is no career progress, I can at least make more money. You got to gain something over years of waiting to keep you going!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 01:09 PM
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Default How well Advance we shud apply for EAD

Hi,

Can you pls explain or give an approximate number of months in advance one shud comfortably apply for the renewal of the EAD?
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 01:33 PM
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Hi,

Can someone explain the process of using AC21 for self employment? I have searched the web without much luck. If someone can throw some light on this topic along with how to deal with issues that come up with AC21 and self employment I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappu View Post
I have recently been talking to members who have already filed I485 and have used AC21 to change jobs. I noted some limitations people face while changing jobs, getting higher salaries, making use of AC21 for changing more than 1 job.. etc etc.

It seems there is lack of information on this subject. Let us use this thread to

- share expeiences
- List issues you have all faced so that IV can have this information while working on advocay efforts.
- Make others aware of your problems and do's and don'ts in the community.
- Interpretation of various lawyers on this and how they have helped you solve your difficult situations.


Hope this information will help everyone
AFAIK there is no "more than 1 job change" regulation. You can change as many times as you want.

There is no need to inform INS. If you wish to be _extra_ safe you may, but be aware that "any information you provide will be used against you". Don't try to be more patriotic than the king.

As far a salary goes, AFAIK you have to make as much as the LC requires you to.

The job description has to be "similar". I guess that means if you were writing C++, you can't start driving a truck.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indyanguy View Post
Hi,

Can someone explain the process of using AC21 for self employment? I have searched the web without much luck. If someone can throw some light on this topic along with how to deal with issues that come up with AC21 and self employment I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance
best talk to a lawyer. It is worth the money in this case. These are arcane areas of the law, and once you make a mistake, you will be harassed all your life here.
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you can't even handle the lies.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2007, 04:13 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirinme View Post
I'm currently on my 4th EAD & AP, and I used AC21 twice so far to switch jobs (similar job descriptions, including the specific technologies I worked on). On both occasions, I have not informed USCIS. My attorney said one is not legally required to do so, and that we could respond if there is any RFE.

But I also know that there are lot of attorneys out there who recommend informing USCIS about the job change. I don't personally know of anyone who have used AC21 and went on to get the green card, so I can't really tell which approach is better. In either case, make sure to have all relevant paper work with you - specifically the experience letters from old employers with proper job descriptions.

As for the salary increases when changing jobs, I did talk to more than one attorney about this. And what I heard consistently was that higher salary is not as much of a problem as lower salary could be. In my case, I had salary increases of more than 30% each time I changed jobs, and I am doing fine so far. Whether that becomes a problem for me or not, I will deal with it when it happens.

I traveled out of the country a couple of times using AP. On my return to US, at the port of entry (SFO), I was asked if I still worked for the company that originally sponsored my GC application. I told them I changed employers using AC21, and that I was not legally required to inform USCIS about the job change. And they let me go without causing any trouble. Not sure if anyone else had different experiences in such case, but the immigration officers at SFO seem to be somewhat easier to deal with (assuming you haven't done anything wrong, of course).

I did have trouble with AC21 once. I ended up having a gap between my 2nd and 3rd EADs (so did my wife too), as we tried to do too much 'optimization' of EADs. Well, we learned the hard way that 'optimization' effort is bad, as both of us had to stop working during the gap. It's not a very pleasant feeling having to explain our respective employers that we had such issue. We lost money too, as we couldn't be legally paid during the gap - in addition to the unnecessary stress. I wish USCIS issues EADs with longer validity period - something like 3 years (but I once heard Aman say that they couldn't do so due to a software glitch in their system!!). In any case, we are now filing for EAD renewals well in advance of the current one's expiry.

Other issues with AC21 that we faced are things like having to pay for EAD and AP renewals every year, which is quite expensive. I guess you could negotiate this with your new employer when changing jobs. And the sheer inability to change your job roles or take on more responsibilities (on paper too!) is frustrating, but that is more of a lengthy GC processing symptom than an AC21 issue.

All things considered, I think AC21 is good. It's got it's set of issues, especially if you don't use it wisely, but it at least lets you have some kind of progress in your careers. The way I see it, if there is no career progress, I can at least make more money. You got to gain something over years of waiting to keep you going!
Thanks for the info. How early we should renew the EAD? TIA. anukcs
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2007, 05:13 PM
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Default

There was no discussion on invoking AC21 where the salary is lower than specified in LC. For example wages for LC filed in bay area will be higher than other places and if one wishes to move to work location where prevaling wages are lower compare with original LC location. What would USCIS position on this since AC21 does not talk about work location.

wage for Original LC location in Santa Clara:- 90k
New job offer in mid west:- 70K ( much higher than prevaling wages)

Please comment
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2007, 05:24 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvaka View Post
Hi,

Can you pls explain or give an approximate number of months in advance one shud comfortably apply for the renewal of the EAD?
You can file for an EAD up to 4 months in advance... according to my lawyer
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2007, 05:25 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by indyanguy View Post
Hi,

Can someone explain the process of using AC21 for self employment? I have searched the web without much luck. If someone can throw some light on this topic along with how to deal with issues that come up with AC21 and self employment I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance
Check out www.shusterman.com and it has a section on AC 21 180 day portability. There you will find all the USCIS memos regarding this topic (starting from 2001 to 2003 and the 2 memos in 2005). The last memo from December 2005 addresses the issue and the way I understand it, it means you can have self employment while waiting for the final approval. But you still have to have an employer at the time of final approval of I 485 in the job category mentioned in LC and I 140.
Regards.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2007, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I had trouble finding the memo from Dec 2005. Can you please link it?

Thanks again
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2007, 06:33 PM
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Default Question on AC21 - Please Advice/Help

As this is my crucial time of my life, anyone from our IV members please help/Advice

Q1) I understand that, there is no need to inform USCIS about our changing jobs using AC21, In my case my company provided their own Lawyer. How can I change that lawyer to my personal lawyer (I signed G28 for current lawyer)

Q2) Is it advisable to move forward with out a lawyer, if I decide not to inform USCIS about my job change using AC21 OR is it always advisable to go with lawyer (share your experiences)

Q3) If I want to represent my case on my own after AC21 (Signed G28 with current lawyer), How should I do that, When should I inform USCIS about this (before the AC21 kicks in -how much in advance)

Q4) If the 140 is approved, 180 days from 485 is passed, does employer still have a right/chance to revoke/deny the I140??? (I heard a rumor that it is possible)

Q5) Is that possible, If I call USCIS that they will verify my I 140 information Because my employer never provided me with approved I 140 copy I have only receipt number

Please advice - Thanks in advance
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2007, 07:27 PM
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Default ^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^^^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by cchaitu View Post
As this is my crucial time of my life, anyone from our IV members please help/Advice

Q1) I understand that, there is no need to inform USCIS about our changing jobs using AC21, In my case my company provided their own Lawyer. How can I change that lawyer to my personal lawyer (I signed G28 for current lawyer)

Q2) Is it advisable to move forward with out a lawyer, if I decide not to inform USCIS about my job change using AC21 OR is it always advisable to go with lawyer (share your experiences)

Q3) If I want to represent my case on my own after AC21 (Signed G28 with current lawyer), How should I do that, When should I inform USCIS about this (before the AC21 kicks in -how much in advance)

Q4) If the 140 is approved, 180 days from 485 is passed, does employer still have a right/chance to revoke/deny the I140??? (I heard a rumor that it is possible)

Q5) Is that possible, If I call USCIS that they will verify my I 140 information Because my employer never provided me with approved I 140 copy I have only receipt number

Please advice - Thanks in advance
__________________
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 10-08-2007, 05:55 PM
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Default More AC21 questions

I have the following questions to pick the brains of my fellow IV'ians:

1. I would like to change careers. Since I can have multiple employments, can I have 1 job which fits the LC job profile and second which is in a new career.
How I intend to do this is by consulting in the field of my current job (as per LC) and have full time employment in a different career.
This leads to my second question.

2. This has been asked before , but I did not see a good answer. Can you consult using 1099 or should you be on the payroll ?

3. Thirdly, Assuming I have to consult through a consultant and not through 1099;
I intend to use a consulting company. Since there are no consulting companies or I don't know any, in my current field of work (Automobile engineering) I will have to use a regular(read Desi) consultant. Is there any issue with this as the code for him will be different than the labor code of my present employer. I will put down that I am working as per the same code as my labor, but the employers code will be different. Consulting companies usually get a code which will say " Nature of business: Consulting-All kinds". Will this be sufficient?

All answers will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:28 PM
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Default

Bump
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:43 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirinme View Post
I'm currently on my 4th EAD & AP, and I used AC21 twice so far to switch jobs (similar job descriptions, including the specific technologies I worked on). On both occasions, I have not informed USCIS. My attorney said one is not legally required to do so, and that we could respond if there is any RFE.

But I also know that there are lot of attorneys out there who recommend informing USCIS about the job change. I don't personally know of anyone who have used AC21 and went on to get the green card, so I can't really tell which approach is better. In either case, make sure to have all relevant paper work with you - specifically the experience letters from old employers with proper job descriptions.


As for the salary increases when changing jobs, I did talk to more than one attorney about this. And what I heard consistently was that higher salary is not as much of a problem as lower salary could be. In my case, I had salary increases of more than 30% each time I changed jobs, and I am doing fine so far. Whether that becomes a problem for me or not, I will deal with it when it happens.

I traveled out of the country a couple of times using AP. On my return to US, at the port of entry (SFO), I was asked if I still worked for the company that originally sponsored my GC application. I told them I changed employers using AC21, and that I was not legally required to inform USCIS about the job change. And they let me go without causing any trouble. Not sure if anyone else had different experiences in such case, but the immigration officers at SFO seem to be somewhat easier to deal with (assuming you haven't done anything wrong, of course).

I did have trouble with AC21 once. I ended up having a gap between my 2nd and 3rd EADs (so did my wife too), as we tried to do too much 'optimization' of EADs. Well, we learned the hard way that 'optimization' effort is bad, as both of us had to stop working during the gap. It's not a very pleasant feeling having to explain our respective employers that we had such issue. We lost money too, as we couldn't be legally paid during the gap - in addition to the unnecessary stress. I wish USCIS issues EADs with longer validity period - something like 3 years (but I once heard Aman say that they couldn't do so due to a software glitch in their system!!). In any case, we are now filing for EAD renewals well in advance of the current one's expiry.

Other issues with AC21 that we faced are things like having to pay for EAD and AP renewals every year, which is quite expensive. I guess you could negotiate this with your new employer when changing jobs. And the sheer inability to change your job roles or take on more responsibilities (on paper too!) is frustrating, but that is more of a lengthy GC processing symptom than an AC21 issue.

All things considered, I think AC21 is good. It's got it's set of issues, especially if you don't use it wisely, but it at least lets you have some kind of progress in your careers. The way I see it, if there is no career progress, I can at least make more money. You got to gain something over years of waiting to keep you going!

Let me ask you a question.

When you renew EAD what will be the start date. For example:
Lets say current EAD Expires 12/31/2007.
I apply for renewal in July say 07/01/2007.

When I get the new EAD would it start from 12/31/2007 to 12/31/2008 or sometime in July/August/September when it gets approved?

Basically would the renewal date start from where the current one is expiring or from the dat it got approved?

Thanks
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