What is I-485 Supplement J and How to Properly Prepare and Use it? (2024)

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What is I-485 Supplement J and How to Properly Prepare and Use it?

Earlier this year USCIS introduced a new Form I-485 Supplement J which is being used in connection with filings of new I-485 applications to adjust status or for porting of existing and pending I-485 applications to a new employer or a new job. The purpose of I-485 Supplement J is to provide a confirmation of thebona fide job offer (during initial I-485 filing) or to inform USCIS in I-485 porting cases under AC21 (for pending I-485 cases).

What is the Purpose of Form I-485 Supplement J?

Prior to the introduction of this form, USCIS used to accept an employment verification letter by the intending employer as a confirmation of the bona fide job offer. The employment verification letters generally followed a standard format – a letter by the employer confirming the offered position’s title, duties, responsibilities, salary offered and sometimes other related job offer details. While the contents of these employment verification letters was generally similar, USCIS had suggested that sometimes the letters do not provide standard required information allowing USCIS to determine the bona fide of a job offer or to determine whether an AC21 porting to a new employer or a job meets the relevant porting requirements.

As a result, USCIS introduced Form I-485 Supplement J and this form has been a requirement for: (a) all new I-485 filings where it is used to confirm that the job offered in the underlying I-140 immigrant petition (pending or approved) is still valid and offered to the beneficiary or (2) all requests for AC21 portability of pending I-485 applications where the beneficiary aims to “transfer” their pending I-485 to a new employer or job which is “same or similar” (see our article on the AC21 portability rules and options).

Requesting a new Supplement J has also became a standard request for evidence (RFE) item for pending I-485s even in cases where the actual trigger for the RFE may be expiring medicals or other issues (see our recent article on multitude of I-485 RFEs).

When is I-485 Supplement J Required?

As noted above, Form I-485 Supplement J is required (or requested, if not provided) in the following circ*mstances:

  1. New I-485 Applications. I-485 Supplement J is required for all new I-485 adjustment of status applications based on an approved or pending I-140 immigrant petition. Notable exceptions are: Supplement J is not required when filing I-140 concurrently with the I-485 adjustment of status application(s). Also, Supplement J is not required for I-485 filings based on EB-2 I-140 national interest waiver (NIW) or EB-1 extraordinary ability (because these two categories allow for self-sponsorship).
  2. I-485 Porting to a New Employer or Job Under AC21. I-485 Supplement J is also used (and required) in cases where a pending I-485 adjustment of status application is being ported to a new employer or job under the portability provisions of AC21 which essentially requires the new position be “same or similar.” While USCIS does not require a proactive AC21 portability filing in this kind of portability situations, they have expressed preference to be notified proactively. In such situations, the Supplement J form will be used to effect such notification.
  3. I-485 RFE or NOID. In cases where I-485 Supplement J was not provided initially or in cases where the AC21 porting notification was not submitted to USCIS at the time of job change, USCIS will likely issue an RFE or notice of intent to deny (NOID) with a request for an updated Supplement J (possibly together with other requested items) before the I-485 can be approved.

Supplement J – Who Completes It and How to Complete It?

Form I-485 Supplement J is completed by both the employer and the employee. The actual form is divided in two sections, one pertaining to the employer and one pertaining to the employee and the job offer. The form requires signatures by both the employee and the sponsoring employer (and attorney, if one is used to prepare it).

One of the key aspects in which the Supplement J differs from an employment verification letter used previously is the way USCIS asks the new position to be described. Supplement J now asks for details of the offered position including the SOC code. The SOC code is not always clear or easy to determine simply by looking at a job description so in AC21 portability situations a careful analysis may be required to (1) identify the SOC code for a specific job and (2) analyze whether the proposed SOC code differs than the initial sponsored green card position and, if so, what are the ways to justify that the new position is “same or similar” and qualifies for AC21 porting.


We applaud USCIS’s efforts to streamline the processing of I-485 applications and standardize the collection of relevant information without making substantive changes to the process.

However, during the months since the introduction of Supplement J our observation has been that the form remains somewhat confusing to I-485 applicants and their employers, especially in the context of AC21 portability. We have found that new employers are surprised by the need to submit a new “government” form when they thought that they had hired an employee who does not need any sponsorship (presumably by having a valid I-485 EAD). Also, some of the information on the Supplement J (such as employer income and SOC code) has been difficult for some employers to provide, for a number of reasons.

Our office is happy and available to assist with I-485 Supplement J situations. Please do not hesitate to contact us or consider our consultation options. Also, please visit us again or subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to ensure that you obtain this and related immigration-related news and announcements.

By Dimo Michailov| Last Updated: June 22nd, 2017| Categories: AC21, Articles, I-485, News|

About the Author: Dimo Michailov

What is I-485 Supplement J and How to Properly Prepare and Use it? (3)

Dimo has over 15 years of experience in US immigration including employment-based immigration benefits, corporate compliance and family based immigration. He represents corporate and individual clients in a wide range of cross-border immigration matters including mobility of key foreign executives and managers, specialized knowledge workers, and foreign nationals with extraordinary ability.

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The Capitol Immigration Law Group has been serving the business community for over 15 years and is one of the most widely respected immigration law firms focused solely on U.S. employment-based immigration. Disclaimer: we make all efforts to provide timely and accurate information; however, the information in this article may become outdated or may not be applicable to a specific set of facts. It is not to be construed as legal advice.

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