Written by attorney Shah Peerally

New Memo on Determining Same or Similar Positions under AC 21 (INA 204(j)) - Explained

Purpose This policy memorandum (PM) provides additional guidance to Immigration Services Officers (ISO) for determining, with respect to the job portability provisions in section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), whether one job is in “the same or a similar occupational classification” as another job. Specifically, this memorandum instructs ISOs on how to use the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes and other evidence to determine if a new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the original job offer in an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140 petition) submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of this memorandum is to promote consistency and efficiency in section 204(j) portability adjudications in accordance with the policy objectives described herein. This PM consolidates and clarifies USCIS procedures regarding the determination of whether two jobs are in the same or similar occupational classification(s), including the review of SOC codes as one factor that may be considered in such a determination. Such adjudications require individualized assessments that consider the totality of the circumstances and are based on a preponderance of the evidence presented.

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