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Can i use a previous H1 petition which i used only once but is very old. It was valid from 2001 till 2004 ?

Detroit, MI |

I had an approved H1b petition through Company A valid from 2001-2004.
In 2003 i worked in US on this petition for 6 months and exited US in 2003 itself. This petition expired in 2004.
In March 2007 i re-entered US through Company A again BUT on L1.
In April 2009 , while i was in US , Company B filed for H1b counted in the CAP and got approved, I shifted to H1b status from Oct 1st 2009.
I transfered my H1 to Company C in May, 2012, and will exit US on March 2013. The H1 petition through C will expire in 2013.

Say, [2]+[3]+[4] will be short of 6 yrs by only 3 weeks.

In April, 2014 :
-can I use the H1 in [1] to re-enter US ? If Yes, how much validity will it have ?
-can I use the H1 in [4] to re-enter US ? If Yes, how much validity will it have ?

Thank &Best Regards

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Attorney answers 3


Your question resembles a software program. OK, first of all you cannot use H-1B from 2004 because it is not valid anymore. If you have only 3 weeks left short of 6 years, you will be admitted only for that duration when you enter using [4]. Did you take any vacation time during [2]+[3]+[4]? If yes, you can try to recapture that time by filing an extension. If not, then you are out of option and you will have to stay outside for aggregate of 365 days to again reenter in either H-1B or L-1, unless you have a pending labor certification/I-140 (pending >365 days) or approved I-140, then you can request 7th year extension.

Rajesh Nakchhed Prasad

Rajesh Nakchhed Prasad


If [4] is expired then you cannot use it in 2014. Again if you are exiting in March 2013, then reentering after March 2014, you would have stayed 365 days outside the US and become eligible for full 6 years. Please consult with an experienced immigration lawyer.


I agree with my colleague.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


No, you cannot use the 2004 petition.

You must be outside the US for at least one year to reset the H-1B clock.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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