Update on I-485 Supplement J Filings

As of January 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires most new employment-based I-485 adjustment of status applications to be accompanied by an I-485 supplement J. Supplement J may also be submitted to request that the USCIS port a pending I-485 to another same or similar job offer, pursuant to the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21). Given that supplement J is a relatively new requirement, it may prove beneficial for stakeholders to understand how the USCIS processes the document once it is submitted by an applicant.

Supplement J Filed in Two Situations

As discussed in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, New I-485 Supplement Required for Many Employment-Based Cases (13.Feb.2017), there are two situations in which I-485 supplement J must be filed:

  1. It must be filed concurrently with form I-485 if based on a pending or approved form I-140, unless the I-140 is requesting a national interest waiver (NIW), or if the I-140 is under the employment-based, first preference (EB1) extraordinary ability category.
  2. If the foreign national has a pending I-485 and qualifies for AC21 job portability, supplement J must be submitted to the USCIS to request that the I-485 application be approved on the basis of a change to a “same or similar” position. In this scenario, the applicant may elect to file the supplement J upon the employment change; or, the applicant may wait to submit the supplement J until the USCIS issues a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID).

No Separate Receipt Notice for Supplement J When Filed Concurrently with I-485

If supplement J is filed concurrently with the I-485, the USCIS will simply issue a receipt notice for the I-485. No separate receipt will be issued for the supplement J. Similarly, the supplement J in this scenario is not adjudicated separately from the I-485. So, an approval or denial notice will be sent by the USCIS for the I-485 once the application is adjudicated. But, no separate approval or denial is issued for the supplement J.

Notices Issued if Submitted for AC21 Purposes

On the other hand, if supplement J is submitted for AC21 purposes regarding a change in employment, the USCIS will issue a receipt notice to confirm receipt of the supplement. The USCIS will then adjudicate the form, and then either issue an approval or denial on the AC21 request. Per USCIS instructions, an applicant who files supplement J to request job portability should wait at least 120 days from the date the receipt notice is issued before following up with the USCIS on the status of the filing.


The supplement J requirement may be an added burden, but it offers some protections for those benefiting from the job portability provisions of AC21. The benefit lies in one’s ability to obtain a decision on the portability request, when previously there was no USCIS confirmation or decision on the AC21 portability request until adjudication of the I-485.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.