H1-B expiring in 4 months. Can GC Process be started now?

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My current H1-B expires on 07/14/2013 (6 year period including recapture time). My employer just initiated GC process in Feb '13 (Min. Wage certification which is still in process). Our company has been bought out by our competitor and my current employer is going to file bankruptcy.

Is there any way, some consulting company starts my GC process immediately and get labor clearance before 07/14/13 and get H1 extension. I have a few options where I can get contract jobs on my own.

My friends have suggested that I shift to F1 visa and simultaneously look for an employer (consulting organization) who will process GC on future employment basis.

What is the best way out to continue to stay in US. I am planning to switch my current H1 visa to a consulting organization (valid till 07/14/13).


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First, your friends suggestion about changing to a F-1 visa is wrong for several reasons. A F-1 visa is for full-time, on-campus studies at an accredited university, which clearly is not your intent. A F-1 visa is NOT some sort of 'bridge' to maintain legal status, which seems to be your intent. Further, summer semester admission deadlines to most reputable universities have passed, and in many cases fall semester admission deadlines.have passed as well. (There are even schools for which the next admissions deadline is for the fall 2014 semester.)

Second, beyond the prevailing wage determination (PWD), there are required recruiting efforts and reporting, and other steps that the employer must complete before they can even file a PERM labor certification application for you, and once filed it will take ~4 months for approval, and significantly longer if there is an audit. Then upon approval of the PERM labor certification application it takes another 2-4 weeks for the employer to receive the certified copy required for the I-140 petition, and so on. I am sure you can see that 3-1/2 months left on your H-1B visa is not enough time to receive any approval that would allow an H-1B visa extension to be filed for you.

Accordingly, there is no way to continue to stay in the U.S. and work beyond the expiration of your current H-1B visa.

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