Effective January 17, 2017, the DHS’s 11-18-2016 regulation, which is intended to improve the retention of high-skilled nonimmigrant and immigrant workers, will require the use of a new supplement to Form I-485 to either:
- Confirm that the job offered to the applicant in the Form I-140 is the basis of the Form I-485 and remains available; or
- Request job portability in a same or similar occupational classification under INA §204(j) where the adjustment application has been pending for more than 180 days.
While the final version of Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability under INA Section 204(j) has not yet been released, the draft version asks for identifying data regarding the applicant and the employer and includes space for the new job description. The draft form also includes signature space for the applicant, the employer, and the preparer (if applicable).
When should I file Supplement J?
Under 8 CFR §245.25, Supplement J may be filed affirmatively by the applicant or requested by USCIS to either confirm the continuing availability of the job offer set forth in the approved I-140, or to request portability to a same or similar occupational classification with the same or a different employer. Supplement J may be required by USCIS prior to adjudicating an adjustment application if the application has been pending for at least 180 days. Though the regulations do not provide a specific time period for filing a Supplement J, the comments accompanying the final rule suggest that it may be filed at any time the applicant wants to notify USCIS that he or she is claiming portability (See 81 Fed. Reg. 82398, 82418-82424 (Nov. 16, 2016)). Filing is not mandatory unless USCIS requests Supplement J.
Where can I get a copy of the final version of the Form?
At this time, the final version of Supplement J has not been published, though it should be released prior to January 17, 2017. It is unclear whether there will be a comment period for the final form.
Is there a fee for filing Supplement J?
There is no filing fee for Supplement J at this time. It is not clear how or when USCIS will issue a receipt (or other acknowledgement) when Supplement J is filed, or how or when USCIS will adjudicate Supplement J, apart from approving or denying the adjustment application. However, the comments to the final rule state: “DHS believes that Supplement J will reduce past uncertainties by facilitating (1) the tracking of portability requests through the adjudication process, (2) the provision of timely acknowledgements and notices, and (3) the ability of individuals to know if their job is in a same or similar occupational classification before the Form I-485 application is adjudicated” (Id. at 82422).