H1B 5th year mid. Job change and PERM options


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Hi all, 

I am in a very difficult situation and any advise from you all is highly appreciated. 

I am in H1B 5th year. 5th year ends in sep 2019. My current employer did not do my GC yet. I am currently switching job because I got an offer from a new company and they are willing to do the green card. But, I have a few questions based on the time limit I have. Could you please answer them?

1) Any idea on H1b transfer processing time? Which all stages can i utilize the premium processing? My work location is Maryland.

2) while h1B transfer is in process and waiting for approval, can the new employer start any of the steps in the PERM process? 

3) I am not sure whether h1b transfer decision comes before end of my 5th year(sep 2019).  If not, what are my chances if PERM process start in 6th year? I have almost 5 months I spent outside US that can recapture.

4) Suppose in the worst case if any approvals did not come before h1b max date and I have to leave and work remotely, Do i have to spend 365 days outside US or I can come back anytime they approve the PERM or i-140?

Thank you in advance.



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  • 3 weeks later...

The following is the best approach IMO:

  1. Apply for H1 transfer in PP now. 
  2. Join the new employer and start GC process.
  3. it will take 1 year by the time you get your I140. I140 can be done in PP.
  4. Looking at your timeline, you will get your I140 before you complete 6 years on H1 which is the end of 2020 including recapture.
  5. Apply for H1 extension based on approved I140 next year again.

If you get an audit during PERM, you can apply for H1 extension based on PERM application. You will get 1 year H1 extension.

Anyways, the key here is to get your H1 transfer done in PP and start GC with the new employer. That will keep the entire process simple and clear.

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