I’m in the following situation:
My PERM application was submitted on 1/13/2020 and still in Analyst review while my H1B expires on 9/5/2020 (6th year). I have 112 days abroad that can be captured, which then would put my new H1B expiration date at 12/26/2020 if the extension petition is approved.
However, after my HR VP talked to the lawyer, it sounds like they seem to think we still have plenty of time to file the extension petition. Based on USCIS estimated processing time across all 4 service centers, it can take between 2-8 months to process H1B extension at this point, without premium processing that is. It looks like the lawyer wants to take advantage of the 240-day automatic extension rule.
Here’s where I have questions. Assuming PERM has been denied and my company won’t be pursuing PERM options any further meanwhile my extension petition is still pending as of 9/6/2020, I get the 240-day extension, correct? That means I have until 5/3/2021 to get the extension petition result back.
However, let’s say on 1/1/2021, I hear back from USCIS that my extension petition has been approved for an extra 112 days. Will the 112 days be added on top of (1) the original H1B expiration date (9/5/2020), (2) the approval date (1/1/2021) or the 240-day extended date (5/3/2021)?
(1) seems to make the most sense to me because if someone submits their extension petition well ahead of time, that’s what they’ll probably get; otherwise people will take advantage of the 240-day extension left right and center. But if it’s (1), wouldn’t I be in trouble for staying past the expiration date of my legal status? Is there a 60-day grace period kind of thing?