United States: USCIS Announces I-485 Supplement J To Confirm Bona Fide Job Offers

Last Updated: January 25 2017
Article by A. James Vázquez-Azpiri

Supplement J (Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability) is intended to enable USCIS to confirm that jobs offered to adjustment of status applicants in underlying I-140 petitions are bona fide job offers that the applicant intends to accept once Form I-485 is approved.

Beginning January 17, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the use of the new supplement to the adjustment of status application—Form I-485 Supplement J. Below are some frequently asked questions about the use of this form.

What is Supplement J?

Supplement J is a seven-page form that must be completed and signed by certain applicants for adjustment of status based on an I-140 immigrant petition, employers seeking to employ such applicants, and persons preparing the form on behalf of the applicant and employer. Supplement J must be filed

  • when an adjustment of status Form I-485 application is filed separately from an underlying I-140 immigrant petition;
  • when an adjustment of status application seeks to take advantage of the job portability mechanism provided in Section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to move to a new job in an occupational classification that is the same as, or similar to, that of the position described in the I-140 petition; or
  • when USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) asking for evidence of an existing job offer.

Please note that Supplement J need not be filed when an I-485 application is filed concurrently with an I-140 petition or when the adjustment of status application is based on an immigrant petition seeking classification as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability or seeking a National Interest Waiver. Applicants for adjustment of status who are beneficiaries of family based immigrant petitions also need not file Supplement J.

What is the purpose of Supplement J? 

Supplement J is intended to enable USCIS to confirm that the job offered to the adjustment of status applicant in the underlying I-140 petition remains a bona fide job offer that the applicant intends to accept once Form I-485 is approved. The form also allows USCIS to review job portability requests under INA section 204(j) if the adjustment of status applicant wishes to move to a new job in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job offered in the I-140 immigrant petition. As such, Supplement J replaces the employer and applicant letters that traditionally have been sent to USCIS in support of an exercise of job portability.

A further purpose of Supplement J is to enable USCIS to determine if the I-140 petitioner or the employer seeking to employ the adjustment of status applicant is a "viable employer." The term "viable employer" does not appear in the immigration statute or regulations. In our view, it can reasonably be interpreted to mean an employer that has the capacity to employ the adjustment applicant in the position described in the I-140 petition or in a position that qualifies for job portability.

Who should file Supplement J?

Supplement J is jointly filed by the adjustment of status applicant and the employer wishing to employ the applicant. The form contains separate sections that must be completed and signed by each respective party. The applicant completes Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, while the I-140 petitioner or the employer offering a new permanent job completes Parts 5, 6, 7, and 8. In addition, the form contains sections that must be completed and signed by a person (such as an attorney) preparing the form on behalf of the applicant and the employer.

What information does Supplement J require?

Supplement J requires the applicant to provide his or her name and address, place and date of birth, I-140 petition and I-485 application receipt information, and telephone and email contact information. The employer of the applicant is required to provide its name, address, Federal Employer Identification Number, type of business, date of establishment, number of US employees, gross and net annual income, and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

The employer must also provide the job title and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code of the position offered to the applicant, a nontechnical description of the duties of and wages offered for the position, as well as confirmation that the position is a full time and permanent one. Also required is a sworn declaration by the employer that it is a "viable employer" (as discussed above) that is extending a bona fide job offer to the applicant, that the job offered is a full time and permanent one, and that the employer intends to employ the applicant in the job offered upon the approval of his or her adjustment of status application.

When should Supplement J be filed?

As noted above, Supplement J should be filed with a Form I-485 application that is not being concurrently filed with an I-140 immigrant petition. It should also be filed if an adjustment of status applicant wishes to invoke job portability under Section 204(j) of the INA or has received an RFE or NOID from USCIS requesting confirmation that the job offer in the underlying Form I-140 is bona fide and still available to the applicant.

Who signs Supplement J?

As noted above, Supplement J must be signed by both the adjustment applicant and the employer that will be hiring the applicant upon the application's approval, as well as the person preparing the form. USCIS will not accept a stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature. All signatures on Supplement J are made under penalty of perjury.

Is there a fee?

There is no filing fee for Supplement J.

Where should Supplement J be filed?

Supplement J should be filed with USCIS at the filing address for the relevant Form I-485. If the I-485 receipt number begins with "LIN," Supplement J should be filed at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. If the receipt number begins with "SRC," Supplement J should be filed at the USCIS Texas Service Center.

The "Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status" page should be reviewed to determine where to file Supplement J, as should the "Special Instructions" section on the same page.

If an RFE or NOID from USCIS requesting the filing of Supplement J is received, the supplement should be submitted with the response to the RFE or NOID at the address specified on the RFE or NOID. Visit the USCIS website or call the National Customer Service Center at +1.800.375.5283 for the most current information about where to file Supplement J.

Will USCIS issue a receipt notice as evidence of filing?

Yes. USCIS will issue a receipt for the filing of Supplement J. USCIS will also issue a "decision in writing" on Supplement J, although it is not clear if this will take the form of a traditional Form I-797 notice.

What is the estimated processing time?

USCIS has not indicated any timeframes for the review and adjudication of Supplement J. Since this form does not require payment of a fee, it could follow that its processing will not be a priority for USCIS.

What evidence should be submitted in support of Supplement J?

The following documents should be submitted with Supplement J:

  • A copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, establishing the receipt date for the applicant's Form I-485, which shows that the Form I-485 has been pending for 180 days or more. If the applicant does not have this form, USCIS will review the electronic record for the Form I-485 receipt number provided in Supplement J for evidence that Form I-485 has remained pending for 180 days or more.
  • A copy of Form I-797 showing that the applicant is the principal beneficiary of an approved or pending Form I-140. If the applicant does not have such documentation, USCIS will review the electronic record for the Form I-140 receipt number provided in Supplement J for evidence that the applicant is the principal beneficiary of an approved or pending Form I-140. The applicant may also provide "secondary evidence" to demonstrate that he or she has filed a Form I-485 that has been pending for 180 days or more since the receipt date, and that he or she is the principal beneficiary of an approved or pending Form I-140.

How does USCIS determine what qualifies as a position in a "same or similar" occupational classification"?

To determine whether the new job qualifies as the "same or similar" occupational classification as the job reflected in Form I-140 for job portability purposes, USCIS will review the content of Supplement J. The applicant and/or employer may submit any evidence that is relevant in showing that the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job specified in Form I-140, including information drawn from the US Department of Labor (DOL) Occupational Outlook Handbook, the DOL's O*Net Online system, or its Standard Occupational Classification System.

In determining whether the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job specified in Form I-140, USCIS will consider factors, including but not limited to

  • the similarity of the job duties and responsibilities; and/or
  • the similarity of the educational, experience, and/or training requirements.

Takeaways

The introduction of Supplement J is not an entirely welcome development; completion and submission of the form will create an additional burden for adjustment applicants and their employers, who already have to deal with substantially lengthened immigration forms that often require information not directly related to the merits of the relevant application or petition.

In addition, publication of the form without providing an opportunity for comment on a draft form is regrettable, since such comments may well have resulted in the elaboration of a form that is more concise, creates a lesser burden for applicants and employers, and is better suited to serve USCIS's purpose.

This article is provided as a general informational service and it should not be construed as imparting legal advice on any specific matter.

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