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-   -   IV spotlight Topic Series: Discuss issues with AC21 after applying for 485 (https://immigrationvoice.org/forum/forum72-ac21-portability-after-180-days-of-485-filing/4163-iv-spotlight-topic-series-discuss-issues-with-ac21-after-applying-for-485-a.html)

pappu 04-20-2007 11:16 AM

IV spotlight Topic Series: Discuss issues with AC21 after applying for 485
 
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

go2roomshare 04-20-2007 02:52 PM

No reply so far ! No one here??

chanduv23 04-20-2007 02:58 PM

Can we assume there are no issues?

rbms 04-20-2007 03:49 PM

Per my lawyer,

1. USCIS does not mandate that you must inform when you invoke AC21. You can inform them if and when you get RFE.
2. I strongly believe that we should not accept job offers that is not related to the job you originally applied for. My lawyer says it is usually vague and if USCIS determines other wise I will be in trouble. And for the same reason I am hesitant to accept very good employee offer from my current client.
3. Self employment is ok as long as the requirements are met and that is what is I am doing now.

eb3India 04-20-2007 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rbms
Per my lawyer,

1. USCIS does not mandate that you must inform when you invoke AC21. You can inform them if and when you get RFE.
2. I strongly believe that we should not accept job offers that is not related to the job you originally applied for. My lawyer says it is usually vague and if USCIS determines other wise I will be in trouble. And for the same reason I am hesitant to accept very good employee offer from my current client.
3. Self employment is ok as long as the requirements are met and that is what is I am doing now.

I changed my job twice using AC-21 informed USCIS once, I don't see any risk itz a law, as long as you are able to produce paperwork that your current job is similar to previous one you are safe, any decent employer would give you a supporting letter (oh ya exluding blood sucking desi pimps).

I find many guys calcluate too much and let go good opportunities, get real guys no one is behind you if you have job and not done anything wrong,

I really don't care when I get my GC as long as they renew my EAD ( I am on my foruth EAD)

krishna.ahd 04-20-2007 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eb3India
I changed my job twice using AC-21 informed USCIS once, I don't see any risk itz a law, as long as you are able to produce paperwork that your current job is similar to previous one you are safe, any decent employer would give you a supporting letter (oh ya exluding blood sucking desi pimps).

I find many guys calcluate too much and let go good opportunities, get real guys no one is behind you if you have job and not done anything wrong,

I really don't care when I get my GC as long as they renew my EAD ( I am on my foruth EAD)

All

I have changed jobs twice keeping more or less same job description but salary wise much more what i used to get.
No need to inform INS. I know most of us little concerned to use AC21 for better job and salary but i never heard of anyone (atleast from my circle ) denied GC for changing job.
I encourage everybody who come across good opportunity to go for it. Keep same job description ( atleast on paper).

Ramba 04-20-2007 04:50 PM

First there is not enough AC21 cases to give feed back how their 485s were handled (approved/detail of RFE/denied) due to job change. Becase, almost all guys who used ac21 still in waiting game due to retrogression.

The main thing what I see here is, USCIS has not yet published the final regulation to interpret AC21 act, even after 7 years of passing AC21 act. They are issuing internal field office memo. These memos are non-binding. In other words, one cannot firmly relay on memos or challange the USCIS decision on AC21 portability according to these memos.

However, sofar, these memos are very favorable to workers, including allowing self-employment, one can port even before 140 approval ect...However, USCIS were cautioning in each memos, that the final regulation may be restrictive than memos. If they took restrictive position in final regulation, it will be a huge problem for most peoples, as they might have violated the final regulation.

Another issue is, definition of "same or similar occupational classification". This is going to be very subjective based on how uscis adjudicator going to compare old and new jobs. The memo says by comparing job duties both old and new jobs and based on SOC or ONET code of old and new job they have to decide both jobs are same or similar. As there is no clear regulation it is big issue to go howmuch level of similarity between jobs. For example one guy may think "database administrator" and "network administrator" are similar job to port. The USCIS may think it may not. It is not quantified.

I feel IV should advocate on liberal/quantifyable defintion for similar jobs in AC21 interpretation. For example, all computer professional jobs should be considered as similar jobs as well as all engineering jobs should be considered similar to port. For example mining engineer can port to chemical engineer job etc...

Also, if any one port to self employment in similar job, there is no much information available wheter one should open a company in his/her name or not (by just working in 1099 etc.. for multiple positions). This needs to have a flexible option for workers, like one can work in 1099 w/o opening a bussiness.

Also, IV should advocate on not to have any restrictive interpretation in final regulation.

vicks_don 04-20-2007 05:05 PM

Help me.
 
I currently have a job offer from the client .

My previous company has applied in perm as Software engineer , Applications as Job Title and Job Description is PeoplesoftSoft, Peopletools ,SQR

My client would like to hire me as Peoplesoft Developer. but I am expecting a raise in salary of atleast 30%.

Would this be a problem ?
When you say Job description should be more or less same what exactly does that mean. Should it be exactly different or some minor change is ok ?

Help me out as I have to decide on the offer by weekend.



Quote:

Originally Posted by krishna.ahd
All

I have changed jobs twice keeping more or less same job description but salary wise much more what i used to get.
No need to inform INS. I know most of us little concerned to use AC21 for better job and salary but i never heard of anyone (atleast from my circle ) denied GC for changing job.
I encourage everybody who come across good opportunity to go for it. Keep same job description ( atleast on paper).


krishna.ahd 04-20-2007 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vicks_don
I currently have a job offer from the client .

My previous company has applied in perm as Software engineer , Applications as Job Title and Job Description is PeoplesoftSoft, Peopletools ,SQR

My client would like to hire me as Peoplesoft Developer. but I am expecting a raise in salary of atleast 30%.

Would this be a problem ?
When you say Job description should be more or less same what exactly does that mean. Should it be exactly different or some minor change is ok ?

Help me out as I have to decide on the offer by weekend.

Job title - doesnt matter but your job duties or job description matters.
Your job description should not change from PL//SQL developer to J2EE or something drastically.
Again as said by Ramba please keep in mind INS have not published any hard lined rules or clarification. But as per my attorney's view INS is lenient on AC21 cases with respect to approval , at the most you may get RFE for job description and latest W2 for salary comparison with 140.
Finally I am not legal expert , confirm with your lawyer.
Good Luck

pappu 04-21-2007 08:25 AM

Thanks. We are also looking for feedback from members who have already done this and any limitations and problems that they have faced. From employer point of view as well as your own point of view.

Has anyone done this more than 1 times?

How much % salary increase have you taken while changing jobs?
How different was your job description and profile?

What are the list of limitations that your own lawyers have given you that has limited you in your professional growth?

vicks_don 04-21-2007 10:48 AM

Thanks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by krishna.ahd
Job title - doesnt matter but your job duties or job description matters.
Your job description should not change from PL//SQL developer to J2EE or something drastically.
Again as said by Ramba please keep in mind INS have not published any hard lined rules or clarification. But as per my attorney's view INS is lenient on AC21 cases with respect to approval , at the most you may get RFE for job description and latest W2 for salary comparison with 140.
Finally I am not legal expert , confirm with your lawyer.
Good Luck

If I get a RFE on Salary comparision would that be a problem as my salary would increase more than 30%. Will they not take into account that my salary should eventually go up with my years of experience ?

vicks_don 04-21-2007 10:50 AM

Right questions.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pappu
Thanks. We are also looking for feedback from members who have already done this and any limitations and problems that they have faced. From employer point of view as well as your own point of view.

Has anyone done this more than 1 times?

How much % salary increase have you taken while changing jobs?
How different was your job description and profile?

What are the list of limitations that your own lawyers have given you that has limited you in your professional growth?

The answers for this questions would really help. Any one who has done this ?

Thanks

iam4u4ever 08-04-2007 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rbms
Per my lawyer,

1. USCIS does not mandate that you must inform when you invoke AC21. You can inform them if and when you get RFE.
2. I strongly believe that we should not accept job offers that is not related to the job you originally applied for. My lawyer says it is usually vague and if USCIS determines other wise I will be in trouble. And for the same reason I am hesitant to accept very good employee offer from my current client.
3. Self employment is ok as long as the requirements are met and that is what is I am doing now.


hi, what are the requirements of self employment ?

thanks

indyanguy 09-26-2007 01:58 PM

By Self employment, do you mean working on 1099 or by starting a business and working for it?

Quote:

Originally Posted by rbms (Post 59087)
Per my lawyer,

1. USCIS does not mandate that you must inform when you invoke AC21. You can inform them if and when you get RFE.
2. I strongly believe that we should not accept job offers that is not related to the job you originally applied for. My lawyer says it is usually vague and if USCIS determines other wise I will be in trouble. And for the same reason I am hesitant to accept very good employee offer from my current client.
3. Self employment is ok as long as the requirements are met and that is what is I am doing now.


HV000 09-26-2007 02:09 PM

Ac 21
 
If Labor Certification and I-140 Approval Notices are a property of the Employer, how the "Beneficiary" is supposed to invoke 'AC-21' for changing jobs in the future without having the approval notices? - My employer has a policy of NOT giving out approval notices of LC and I-140.

javadeveloper 09-26-2007 02:32 PM

Receipt Date or Notice Date??
 
We can change job after 180 days after receipt Date or Notice Date??

abq_gc 09-28-2007 03:42 PM

This is what my lawyer says about EAD card.

"" If you want to use your EAD card, you should wait 180 days after the USCIS
received your I-485 application. You do not need to return to your sponsoring
employer if you use your EAD card after the 180 day waiting period. ""

Any comments ?

Thanks,

abqgc

iam4u4ever 09-28-2007 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indyanguy (Post 173650)
By Self employment, do you mean working on 1099 or by starting a business and working for it?



by starting a business and working for it ?

thanks

iam4u4ever 09-28-2007 05:30 PM

by starting a business and working for it ?

And what happens if somebody already has an existing profit making business and wants to work for it ?

gc_chahiye 09-28-2007 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HV000 (Post 173662)
If Labor Certification and I-140 Approval Notices are a property of the Employer, how the "Beneficiary" is supposed to invoke 'AC-21' for changing jobs in the future without having the approval notices? - My employer has a policy of NOT giving out approval notices of LC and I-140.

for AC-21 (if you choose to inform USCIS: its recommended, but some people dont do it) you only need to provide a letter explaining you are porting, and include a copy of your new employers offer letter. You provide receipt number of your 485. I-140/LC copies not needed. If you are trying to port after 6 years of H1, and need to extend H1 with new employer, thats when you need copy of I-140 approval notice or LC. If your employer does not provide it, I think you will be forced to use AC-21 with EAD in that case.

JazzByTheBay 09-28-2007 05:36 PM

Makes sense...
 
Given the number of questions and concerns IV members have about AC21 in general and "what after EAD/AP", it makes sense to coordinate with USCIS (and lawmakers if required) on this and get some favorable responses that allay everyone's concerns.

If EAD+AP are like a "provisional GC", USCIS should perhaps not delve too much into the job description of work done after the 180 days past AOS filing, imo. Just as in the case of GCs, the bar of intent to be employed in that job is met by working for that employer for 90-180 days (the latter to be on the safe side). The only reason this is such a huge issue is because of the unreasonable waiting time induced on the GC process due to retrogression.

As a result, folks from retrogression-affected countries suffer from these anxities, whereas those from unaffected countries get their GCs, and are free birds after the 90-180 day period.

It's unreasonable to expect folks from retrogressed countries to be employed in the same position, or to otherwise limit their options by imposing restrictions of new job being the same job description as the one on the approved labor cert.

jazz

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramba (Post 59102)
First there is not enough AC21 cases to give feed back how their 485s were handled (approved/detail of RFE/denied) due to job change. Becase, almost all guys who used ac21 still in waiting game due to retrogression.

The main thing what I see here is, USCIS has not yet published the final regulation to interpret AC21 act, even after 7 years of passing AC21 act. They are issuing internal field office memo. These memos are non-binding. In other words, one cannot firmly relay on memos or challange the USCIS decision on AC21 portability according to these memos.

However, sofar, these memos are very favorable to workers, including allowing self-employment, one can port even before 140 approval ect...However, USCIS were cautioning in each memos, that the final regulation may be restrictive than memos. If they took restrictive position in final regulation, it will be a huge problem for most peoples, as they might have violated the final regulation.

Another issue is, definition of "same or similar occupational classification". This is going to be very subjective based on how uscis adjudicator going to compare old and new jobs. The memo says by comparing job duties both old and new jobs and based on SOC or ONET code of old and new job they have to decide both jobs are same or similar. As there is no clear regulation it is big issue to go howmuch level of similarity between jobs. For example one guy may think "database administrator" and "network administrator" are similar job to port. The USCIS may think it may not. It is not quantified.

I feel IV should advocate on liberal/quantifyable defintion for similar jobs in AC21 interpretation. For example, all computer professional jobs should be considered as similar jobs as well as all engineering jobs should be considered similar to port. For example mining engineer can port to chemical engineer job etc...

Also, if any one port to self employment in similar job, there is no much information available wheter one should open a company in his/her name or not (by just working in 1099 etc.. for multiple positions). This needs to have a flexible option for workers, like one can work in 1099 w/o opening a bussiness.

Also, IV should advocate on not to have any restrictive interpretation in final regulation.


iam4u4ever 09-29-2007 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indyanguy (Post 173650)
By Self employment, do you mean working on 1099 or by starting a business and working for it?

By self employment I mean Starting a business of my own and working for it. ?

Also what if ( a big if ) somebody has an already existing profit making business and wants to work for it ?

thanks

vikki76 09-29-2007 05:48 PM

Consulting on EAD
 
For variety of reasons, I wish to explore option of consulting instead of permanent corporate job. Can I do consulting in my own name directly or do I need to be associated with some company?
Green card (EB-2, Nov 29,2004 PD) application is in my name. I have filed 485 this July and expecting my EAD any time. I will be invoking AC21 after 6 months.
But need answer to this question
A. Consult on own?
B. Go through a consulting company?

I prefer option A.

gc2 09-29-2007 06:28 PM

more info
 
here's what i found browsing the net. hope this helps. not sure if a newer memo has been released

http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2005,0520-ac21.pdf

vikki76 09-30-2007 12:01 AM

This is what I found on this PDF
Question 8. Can an alien port to self-employment under INA 204(j)?
Answer: Yes, as long as the requirements are met. First, the key is whether the employment is in a "same or similar" occupational classification as the job for which the original I-140 petition was filed. Second, it may be appropriate to

vikki76 09-30-2007 12:30 AM

more details
 
Interpretations from website http://www.usvisahelp.com/nw_vol4_iss7.html
6. Porting to Self-Employment

USCIS has surprisingly taken the position in the memo that foreign nationals may port to self-employment. However, there may be difficult issues of proof involved: the foreign national will have to prove the legitimacy of the self-employment; and will have to prove that the I-140 petitioner intended to employ him or her upon the filing of the I-140 petition and at the time of filing the I-485 application (if not filed concurrently). The foreign national must also have intended to undertake the employment upon adjustment. The most difficult proof issue will be showing that the I-140 petitioner intended to employ the beneficiary upon I-140 and I-485 filing. This is difficult because once the foreign national ports, the I-140 petitioner may be less than willing to provide evidence of its former intent. However, the memo also states that the I-140 petition and supporting documents are prima facie evidence of the employer's intent. But in appropriate cases, additional evidence will be necessary. The memo does not say what those "appropriate cases" will be. If additional evidence is required from the I-140 petitioner, it will likely be very difficult to obtain.

7. Timing of New Employment Offer

A foreign national cannot still be looking for "same or similar" employment at the time the I-485 is being adjudicated. This indicates that it is acceptable for some time to lapse between leaving employment with the I-140 petitioner, and accepting a new job offer in a "same or similar position." However, if the I-485 is adjudicated before a new employment offer is procured, the foreign national is out of luck.

diptam 09-30-2007 12:46 AM

LC ,140 actually not Required....
 
Your employer do NOT have to give LC or Original 140 to you for invoking AC21. If you have 485/AOS receipt ( which is your personal property) and you got a copy of 140 receipt ( if not approved) / copy of approval notice and that 485 shows more than 180 days from RECEIPT DATE you are good to switch Jobs.

Just keep in touch with Attorney in case if any RFE comes - so that he contacts you now instead of your previous employer. If you are a self-filer or have hired your own Lawyer even you dont have this headache.

When changing Jobs - be responsible on your own , so that you can respond to the RFE satisfactorily. Also make sure you get a letter from new employer that they want to recruit you on a permanent basis quoting your Salary and Job description.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HV000 (Post 173662)
If Labor Certification and I-140 Approval Notices are a property of the Employer, how the "Beneficiary" is supposed to invoke 'AC-21' for changing jobs in the future without having the approval notices? - My employer has a policy of NOT giving out approval notices of LC and I-140.


srini1976 09-30-2007 01:15 AM

Bench time allowed?
 
What happens when 485 is pending for more than 180 days and a person already used EAD for his current JOB(because of the policy of the Employer saying that: Once they apply for EAD employee needs to use EAD and company will not extend H1B anymore). Eventually employee will use EAD.

The he loses his JOB(with Current Emlpoyer who is the sponsorer of 140 & 485)? And say he remains without similar JOB for example 2-4 weeks and then finds a JOB with similar JOB description? Does he still remain on Adjustment of Status? Does he needs to be continuously employed till his 485 is adjudicated?

Please provide some input. All your opinions would help many folks!

Maverick1 09-30-2007 02:44 AM

You might need additional documentation only in cases of RFE. In most cases there are no RFEs. I know a friend of mine was job less for a year and changed 2 jobs under AC21(with different salary ranges ) after applying 485. Never informed USCIS (I guess it is not mandatory). He got his GC recently. He probably would have faced difficulty if there were any RFEs.

One should be okay as long as the following are met :

1) 180 days sice I485 RD
2) Approved I140 (Some say approvable , but safe it is already approved)
3) New job is substantially similar.

Again it was not clearly defined what is substantially similar and I don't think there is any hard and fast rule about the salary changes. That leaves a lot to the discretion of the adjudicating officer. That is why it is important that (s)he trust the original intent of the beneficiary to join the employer and employers intent to recruit the beneficiary.

There must be a memo with some clarifications in this regard.

My 2 cents :)

HV000 09-30-2007 10:44 AM

Thanks Gc_chahiye & Diptam!
 
I have a couple of questions. My employer has an in-house attorney who is responsible for green card processing.

1. If i change employers WITHOUT notifying USCIS, who gets the RFE (if any) in the future? My ex-employer or beneficiary (I got my I-485 receipt directly from USCIS)

2. If i change employers WITHOUT notifying USCIS after 180 days, what happens if my ex-employer tries to CANCEL my I-140?
Can USCIS cancel I-140 without receiving any AC-21 notification from me?

sirinme 09-30-2007 11:30 AM

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!

lvaka 09-30-2007 01:09 PM

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?

indyanguy 09-30-2007 01:33 PM

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

h1bmajdoor 09-30-2007 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pappu (Post 59007)
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.

h1bmajdoor 09-30-2007 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indyanguy (Post 175883)
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.

anukcs 09-30-2007 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sirinme (Post 175851)
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

gee_see 10-01-2007 05:13 PM

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

rambo45 10-01-2007 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lvaka (Post 175874)
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

pt326bc 10-01-2007 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indyanguy (Post 175883)
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.

indyanguy 10-03-2007 03:43 PM

Thanks for the reply.

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

Thanks again


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