PERM while on F1


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I am currently working for a US employer and have a Masters degree in CS. I am on OPT (stem extension) which expires on May 2015. I previously worked for a US Employer too (not contract), and did my Bachelors from US. After my bachelors, I worked on OPT, and then on H1B for a couple of years before I decided to pursue higher education (genuinely).


However, during the COS process from H1B to F1, I got a RFE asking me to provide documentation that I do not have 'immigration intent'. After providing a lot of paperwork, it finally got approved, and I did not have any problems with OPT approval. I am a bit scared/hesitant to make it sound like I am trying to 'game the system' or misuse F1 visa.


My employer, as per suggestion from the immigration attorney does not think that I need to recapture/revive my H1B (I have used 2 years of it) before the PERM is filed. However, based on what I have read, and natural instinct, I think PERM is considered an 'immigration intent' despite the fact that its not an immigration visa. However, if the PERM gets audited for any reason, I will run out of time. Since I am not from India or China where there are backlogs, and my PERM/GC process is being filed on EB2 category, I could get my green card within the timeframe if everything goes well.


I am curious to see if anyone can provide me information on the following:


1) Does filing PERM while on F1 show immigrant intent? Does USCIS even care for this?

2) Do I have to answer Yes to the question (Has anyone filed an immigration petition on your behalf)?

3) Eventually, when I go to my home country on H1B, would it be a problem because my employer filed for immigration related paperwork when I was on a 'non-immigrant' intent visa?

4) Would it be a problem for me to go to H1B visa after the PERM is filed?


If things do not go well, I am also looking into going to PHD program. I have an excellent academic record, and my intent for PHD are also genuine. However, I want to get the GC before I decide to do that.


Thank you for your valuable advice.

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