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USCIS Alert: New Procedure for Transfer of Underlying Basis in Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

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An applicant for adjustment of status (green card) may have more than one qualifying petition that is the basis for the adjustment of status application (Form I-485). For example, an applicant could have filed an I-485 application based upon an I-140 in the EB-2 category and then obtained an approved I-140 in the EB-1 category.  It is not always necessary to file a new I-485 application if an applicant wants to qualify for the green card based upon a different I-140.

Instead, an applicant may be eligible to request to transfer the underlying basis of the Form I-485, to a different employment-based immigrant category based on another Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. USCIS may, in its discretion, grant a transfer request, if:

  • The applicant has continuously maintained eligibility for adjustment of status;
  • The adjustment of status application based on the original Form I-140 is still pending;
  • The applicant is eligible for the new immigrant category; and
  • A visa immediately available in the new immigrant category.

USCIS recently updated its website, noting that there are an “exceptionally high number of employment-based visas available this fiscal year (October 2021 through September 2022).” However, there are many more visas available in the EB-2 and EB-1 categories than adjustment of status applications pending with USCIS.  As a result, employment-based adjustment of status applicants awaiting adjudication based on their downgraded EB-3 I-140 immigrant petitions and who have either pending or approved EB-2 immigrant visa petitions should consider interfiling  or transfer process for a better chance of green card approval before the end of the government fiscal year on September 30, 2022.

USCIS Transfer of Underlying Basis Procedure in 2022

You must request in writing that USCIS transfer your pending Form I-485 from one basis to another category. For Fiscal Year 2022, USCIS has created a new point of contact that should be used to request a transfer of the underlying basis of employment-based Form I-485s. Through September 30, 2022, you may submit your written request, with a completed I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j) (if required), to the following address:

Attn: I-485 Supp J

U. S. Department of Homeland Security

USCIS Western Forms Center

10 Application Way

Montclair, CA 91763-1350

USCIS strongly encourages applicants to send their transfer requests to the above address.  If you have already submitted a transfer of underlying basis request to a USCIS office, you should not submit a new request to this address. All requests to transfer the underlying basis already received or that will be received this fiscal year at a USCIS office will be processed as usual by the USCIS office with jurisdiction over your pending Form I-485.

The purpose of the Supplement J is to confirm the validity of the job offered to you in the petition you want to use as the basis for your transfer request.

If you are requesting to transfer your underlying basis to a previously filed and approved Form I-140, you must submit I-485 Supplement J with your transfer request.

If you are requesting to transfer your underlying basis to a Form I-140 that remains pending, you do not need to submit I-485 Supplement J.

USCIS does not provide a written response to transfer requests.  However, USCIS will issue receipt notices for the Supplement J.

You do not have to submit a new adjustment of status application or filing fee with a request to transfer the underlying basis of your Form I-485 from one petition to another. For more information on transferring the underlying basis of your Form I-485, see the USCIS Policy Manual.

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-393-4917 or complete our contact form.

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