AC-21 Employment Based Adjustment of Status Application Approved Based Upon New Employment in a “Same or Similar” Position as Initial Labor Certification

We represent one of the largest U.S. companies that manufactures generic pharmaceutical products for chains, wholesalers, distributors, hospitals, managed care entities and government agencies. Our client wanted to hire a foreign national working in H-1B status for another pharmaceutical company who had a pending I-485 green card application based upon an approved PERM Labor Certification and an approved I-140 Petition. The position required theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent in Regulatory Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences or a related field. One of the main job duties of the foreign national was to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations including the regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our client applied for a change of H-1B employer and provided the foreign national a letter in support of his being able to continue his green card application under the AC-21 portability rules as his new position with our client was in the “same or similar” occupational classification as the original position for which his labor certification was initially made. The AC-21 portability rules permit an employment-based adjustment of status applicant whose I-485 has been pending for more than 180 days and whose I-140 has been approved (with certain exceptions) to change jobs to another employer in the U.S. to a same or similar occupational classification as the original position for which the labor certification was initially made. Our client was able to successfully hire and extend the H-1B status of the foreign national and subsequent thereto the foreign national received his green card under the AC-21 portability rules when the priority date of his I-140 petition became current.

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