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H1B Extension Scenarios

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  • H1B Extension Scenarios

    Hi all,

    Any advice for my particular situation would be appreciated.

    I am currently in my 6th year of my H1B (6th year ends in Dec'17). I have an approved I-140 from my current employer (priority date: Sep'16; Indian; EB2). For personal and family reasons, I want to take 1-2 years off and then rejoin the workforce with a different employer. I am flexible as to when I can quit my current job. My spouse is also on an H1B so I would like to get on an H4 visa during my "break" period. I am looking for options on what's the best approach to take to ensure I can restart working [relatively] seamlessly, assuming the H4 EAD rule will be revoked and won't be an option when I want to restart working.

    1) I will be eligible to file for my 3 year H1B extension in Jun'17 to get the visa extended beyond the 6 years, based on my approved I-140. If I stay with my current employer until this extension is approved, and then apply for a COS to H4 immediately thereafter, will I be able to file for a COS back to H1B after 2 years and still retain my ~3 years on the H1B (without having to go through the cap/lottery) and also use my prior priority date to restart the GC process? Would I be able to get back on these 3 "extended years" even though I will be joining a different employer and will be beyond my 6 original years on the H1B?

    2) Would it be more advisable to apply for a COS to H4 immediately without applying for an extension, and then use my 6-8 or so months left on the H1B when I rejoin work -- and apply for 3-year extension then? Would I be able to apply for an extension then based on my prior I-140?

    In either scenario, how much is my risk of losing my priority date (assuming I-140 is not "revoked") or losing the opportunity of getting back on an H1B without staying out of the country for 1 year?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
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