PERM validity and expiring underlying status

Hi there,

I'm trying to figure out what possible outcomes might happen to my case in the next few months.

Long story short, working in the US on an E2 that expired in November last year. I94 valid until early Jan 2022. Have been unable to renew the visa despite company desire as home country (UK) has not had any appointments available for E2 visas due to COVID.

Currently going through the PERM process, and it was filed back in early Jan 2021, so expecting some news, positive or otherwise in the next month or so.

Where I have not had consistent answers from my employers legal handling my case are what are my options going forward if the PERM is approved? Normally of course, we'd look to file i140 and 485 ASAP, but given the processing timelines for those, there's no way they'll be finished by the time my underlying status expires in Jan. There's also no guarantee that consulates will be processing visas again before then. I imagine my employer will be uncomfortable with me working with no underlying status to fall back on.

So, I'm trying to figure out what the options are. Would they immediately default to consular processing and ask me to leave? Or would they want to draw out the perm validity with a hope that visa processing at embassies opens up?

I know we're dealing with hypotheticals here (PERM might not even be approved) but given the 6 months left I'm trying to do some scenario planning for what might be a series of radical life adjustments.

Appreciate any advice you may have.

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