QUESTION

Reusing previous H1B

Asked on Feb 12th, 2019 on Immigration - Massachusetts
More details to this question:
Hi. I previously lived and worked in the US for just over 3 years on a H1B visa which began in September 2013. I left the US 2 years ago at the end of 2016 and moved back to Ireland. Before I left, I had received a 3 year extension to my H1B until September 2019. So in total used a little over 3 years out of max of 6. I've read that since I didn't use up the 6 years I could still have a US company petition me, and I wouldn't have to go through the application process again and be subject to a cap to get a new H1B. Is this correct? Could I essentially reuse the H1B and not be subject to a new application process, because it is cap-exempt, assuming I got a job offer from a US company and they petitioned me? If this is true it sounds like a company could transfer the visa to them for the remainder, which may only take a few weeks, and I could legally return to the US to work in a relatively short amount of time?
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1 ANSWER
Answered on Mar 14th, 2019 at 6:04 PM
As long as you applied for a cap H-1B which generally means going through the April selection process, you are allowed up to six years of H-1B employment regardless of whether you interrupt it through a stay in your home country. In your case, you can return under H-1B status if you find a company that sponsors you for the visa status and the petition is approved by U.S.C.I.S. You are not required to go through the cap selection process again. I note that U.S.C.I.S. restored premium processing to all cases on March 12, 2019, thus making possible for the time being your scenario of having the H-1B approved within a few weeks. There is of course no guarantee that the agency will not cut off premium processing in the near future. Due to the limitations of the Lawyers.com Forums, Alan Lee, Esq.'s (the "Firm") participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. The information provided herein by the Firm is general, and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.  

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