Dear Rajiv Ji. Thank you for hosting your conference calls. They are very useful. I was wondering if you could answer the following for me.
I am a physician working on H1B and I have two approved I-140 EB2 (one an employer based, the other one is an NIW) with priority dates of 2012. Since I am from India, there is no green card available for me in the near future. My wife also has an I-140 approved from the EB2 route (2012 priority date) and working on H1B as a physician.She has an EB1 applied for in February this year. Her application is reasonably strong and we expect a positive outcome. However I am now wanting to pursue an advanced fellowship at one of the top hospitals in the US. The problem is that at an institutional level, they will commit to recruiting me only if I can show them that I no longer need H1B. Now of course the EB1 green card process may take a few more months (or, in the worst case scenario, may not materialize).
In the meanwhile, I wanted to avail of the opportunity that the new regulations pertaining to H4 EAD offer. I wanted to switch from my current H1B to H4 and obtain an H4 EAD while my wife continues to work on her H1B (as she awaits decision on her EB1 green card) so that I have some independence in being able to pursue another advanced training beginning 2017. However I do not wish to have any break in my current work or any break as I transition from my current job (which is a fellowship training in cardiology) to the future fellowship (due to begin in July 2017, but whose recruitment/ interview is going on right now) due to my switch from H1B to H4 EAD. I was thinking of switching to H4 EAD right away and show them that I no longer require H1B. I am due to meet them in June 2016 to update them about my immigration 'status'. Since they are a very coveted academic center, my failure to convince them of my non-dependence on h1B in future could possibly have them recruit someone else.
My fear is that I will have a break in continuity as I transition from H1B to H4 EAD if I apply either now or towards the spring of 2017. Even if I apply for H4 now and simultaneously file for H4 EAD is it possible that my H4 gets approved before my H4 EAD, thereby making me ineligible to work on my current H1B as I await H4 EAD? Even a month long interruption is critical for me as all these fellowship programs run on a strict July to June timeline, so that as soon as I am done with my current fellowship on June 30, 2017, I have to start my next fellowship on July 1, 2017 without much of a 'gap'. If I break my current fellowship for 'n' no of days I have to extend the fellowship for the same no of days, thereby making it difficult to start my 2017 fellowship in time.
It's a complicated situation but hopefully you can provide some insight.