H1B to EB3 or EB3 directly?

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Dad passed away recently. I went back to home (Hong Kong)  to live with mom while the company pays me as a contractor. The same company wants to get me back. But I told them I won't be back unless they petition green card for me. They told me it's easier to get H1B first then Green Card. But I still feel like they should just apply for my EB3 directly while I am in Hong Kong. Here is my questions: 

1 ) Why H1B -> Green Card route is easier? And why can't we just do Green card directly from oversea?

2 ) They told me H1B is faster but I don't mind the wait while I am in Hong Kong where I have to spend time with mom.

3 ) How long can I legally stay outside of USA while on H1B? 

4 ) If no limit of staying outside while on H1B.  And I stay for out for a yeart. Will that impact my green card if they apply for my green card after I get my H1B ? 
5 ) Any suggestion on how I should push back to the company about getting green card? 

Lost soul that needs your kind advice! 
Thank you!

Edited by TXlocal
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1. Hong Kong is not considered to be the PRC for this purpose. Hence if you were born in HK, your PD for EB3 is current.

2. For a first H1, you have to get your sponsor to apply in April for a start date in October, assuming you get picked in the lottery.

3. Outside USA, you are not in H1 status and have no connection to the USA.

4. NO

5. If you were born in HK, consult a lawyer and have him explain to the company that your Priority date for a Green Card is current.



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