My fresh H1B petition was approved in Dec'03. I came to US with that for 2 months in 2004. Then I came again on Mar'05 with the same visa and stayed in US till Mar'08. In between, I had to extend the petition in Nov'06. My petition and visa expired on Mar'09.
I have now come to US again with L1A visa in Feb'11 and staying here since then.
I would like to know if I can switch employer now and if the new employer can extend my previous H1B in cap-exempt category. My home country is India.
Your previous H-1B has long since expired and cannot be used to "cap exempt" you now, since you have not been "counted" against the cap at anytime during the last 3 years.
All your prospective H-1B employer can do at this point is to file a. Rand new H-1B petition on your behalf on April 1, with an October 1 start date.
If switching employers is all you want right now, then take a look at the answers from the other immigration lawyers above. If, however, you have more long-term immigration goals, such as getting a green card, please know that the L-1A visa is a "gold mine" since it easily leads you to a green card, and your employer can petition for you RIGHT NOW (as opposed to the much longer processing times you would get if you tried to get a green card while on H-1B for another company).
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