I do not see any way around filing an F-1.
General Green Card
PT's and RN's are both exempt from filing labor cert, but the time for their green card processing is still tied to the time it takes for people from the country of their birth. An India-born PT will wait the same time in EB-3 category as any other India-born EB-3 applicant.
The essence of a green card application is that it is meant to be for a job in the future.
1. If an employee is on a H1 they cannot have a 10% pay cut unless their H1 was amended and refiled.
If we apply for a H1b extension for another year ( I believe we can apply 6 months before the expiry of the current 7th year H1b ) and if its approved, does that mean that I can still work till Nov 2010 even if the I -140 gets rejected before the extension comes into effect?
Ans. Yes. You are safe. Under current practice, CIS does not take away extensions already given.
In a recent meeting, USDOL has stated:
You can get an H-1 extension when your I-140 or an appeal against the denial of an I-140 is pending. So you can have the employer file an appeal against the 140 denial and change employers. The appeal of employer A, will get you H-1 extensions for employer B. This could be easily good for 1-2 years of H-1 extensions. Start the green card again with B.
So, the questions is does filing for any green card permit me to stay in USA?
The answer is no.
Only those green card application in which there is no wait for a visa number (example: spouse or parent of a US citizen or EB1 category currently) permit you to stay in USA but only if AOS (I-485) is filed in a timely manner.
That is the reason spouses of green card holders have to wait OUTSIDE USA for many, many years.
1. Advanced degrees do not help in a family-based green card.
Generally speaking, NIW is a lousy back up for a number of reasons. But I say this not knowing the merits of your situation, as your lawyer does.