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H1B visa - changing job locations + changing employers

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  • H1B visa - changing job locations + changing employers

    Hello! I am currently on an H1B visa with an employer in the SF area. I also have a pending green-card application, where I have an I-140 already (priority date in August 2016). I am trying to understand the process for changing job locations with same employer and changing employers altogether. Are these the same process or will they be different? Is one more risky than the other?

    First, the location change: Let's say that I choose to move to another location with my current employer. My understanding is as follows:
    1) This will lead to an amendment to the H1B petition, since this is a "material change". This is *not* the same as a Change of Employer (COE) petition, which is a new H1B application altogether.
    2) This will lead restart of my green-card application, but I will be able to re-capture my August'16 priority date.
    3) If the amendment gets rejected, I can still continue to work with my current employer in my current location. My present situation will be unaffected by this change.

    Second, the job change: Let's say that after moving to another location, I decide to change jobs. My understanding:
    1) This will lead to a whole new cap-exempt H1B application (COE petition). There is no transfer of the H1B, it's an entirely new application.
    2) This will once again restart my green-card application. I will once again be able to re-capture my August'16 priority date, *even if* my previous green-card application (from changing locations) is still pending.
    3) If the COE petition gets rejected, I can still continue to work for my current employer without losing status. My situation at the time of the COE petition will be unaffected.

    Is my above understanding correct? What are the risks like with each step? I am trying to determine whether I should move to the new location first and then change employers, or if I should move + change employers together. The reason I am considering moving first is because I am not planning on changing employers for about a year more.

    I would appreciate your opinions/comments on this matter.

    Thank you all in advance!