Can I Change Jobs Immediately After i140 Approval?

For those looking to build a life in the United States, getting a green card may be one of the most important processes that one goes through. But there are a lot of questions that come with the process of application, especially in regards to employment. 

From the process itself to provisions that can be utilized to help allow for more flexibility when it comes to employment, we’ll look at the question, “can I change my job immediately after my i140 approval?”.

What is the Process?

Getting a green card is only based on if one has been accepted into a job or position. But in the documentation, the word permanent is often utilized, which may be concerning for some. The word permanent typically means to most that you are where you will be forever. But when it comes to immigration, permanent is another definition and simply means on an indefinite basis.

The law surrounding this documentation means there has to be some job in place during the process. Changing during the process can lead to some difficulties. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever change your job. You just have a certain process you have to follow in order to make everything run smoothly.

In order to change your job after an i140 approval, you have to be in one of two main groups – changing a position with the current employer or changing employers altogether. You will need to file an amendment if you’re staying with your current employer and just changing your job title. This will make sure that all your records are accurate and keep you from having any troubles down the line.

For those that are changing employers completely, there will need to be a new i140 by the employer. This means they will need to obtain all the right certifications that your green card requires. The new petition relies on the type of employment and the geographic location. On top of refiling a new document, the employer will have to engage in a recruiting period and open themselves up for being audited.

When the employer does file for the new petition, there is a possibility that you can actually utilize the original priority date of your first document. This will allow you to speed up the process and make it not as long of a wait. While waiting for this date, you can also work on eligibility for different green card levels.

AC21 and Its Effect On Job Change After i140 Approval

There are provisions in the law that help make changing your job easier after your initial green card approval. The AC21 was drafted to help lessen the stress and make the process smoother. The two provisions within this act that helped the most when it comes to ai140 stay are the i485 which allows for 180 days of pending, and the fact that the validity of the permit is intact if the new job is in the same or similar field.

But we’re sure many of you are wondering what a similar occupation means. So to clarify this, we’re going to look at what that exactly means. Basically, the Department of Labor has a standard occupation for groups and classifies them. As long as your job falls under the same category as the one you’re trying to change it to, it is a similar occupation.

I-140 Immigrant petition for alien workers blank form

So, How Long Do I Have to Stay With My Employer?

The truth is there is no set rule when it comes to how long you need to stay with the original employer. If you want to clear any upsets with an officer from the immigration services, you should probably stay for a lengthier period. Jumping from job to job might make it look like you are acting in bad faith, which could bring about other issues down the road.

Changing a job needs a good reason and the proper documentation to be filed to show that you are not actually using the employer just to get the card rather than trying to contribute to society. Ideally, the best option would be to talk to your attorney before making any changes in your job so that you can ensure you are following the guidelines and keeping your ducks in a row.

Some Negative Consequences 

Though there are paths that you can utilize to move from job to job after your i140 approval, there may be some negative consequences that you should understand. Your intentions are maybe the biggest of these. You want to ensure that both the employer filing your new documentation and yourself intend to honor the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

If that is the case, no negative consequences should be found. But you have to be prepared for questions from officials when you do change a job, especially if you’re planning on filing for naturalization.

Final Thoughts

When someone comes to the United States from another country and looks to build their life, it can be a long and challenging process. The first step is, of course, finding a way to support themselves and/or their family, and to do that, there has to be a job involved. This means that getting an i140 approval should be top on the list.

The employer you originally got the approval through may not be what you expected when you signed the contract. So it’s understandable that there are going to be times that maybe someone who has been recently approved looks to move to another job. Though the process is a little more challenging, it is not impossible, but you have to be open to answering questions and any consequences that may come with this.

We hope that looking at all this has helped you determine if you can move from job to job after being approved for your i140. (Even with this knowledge, though, we highly suggest you contact an immigration attorney to ensure you follow all the proper procedures to stay clear of any negative consequences in the future.)

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