My case history -
• Initial H1b 2004 – 2010
• Approved I-140 from a previous employer with a priority date of March 2010.
• From 2010 - 2020, I was on multiple H1b 3-year extensions
• In January 2020, we had to leave the US as my employer refused to do my new PERM and new I-140 and hence refused my new H1b. We were planning to get back to the US on my wife’s visa but due to covid, we were stuck in India for 13 months.
• We returned to the US in March 2021 from India on my wife’s visa. I am currently on an H4 visa. (My wife does not have an approved I-140 so I can’t apply for EAD.)
Now I have started looking for positions. but I still don’t know if I am cap-exempt as I spent 1 year (13 months) outside the US.
Can I recapture time from my initial H1b period between 2004 – 2010 even though I was on multiple H1b extensions after 2010? Or the multiple H1b extensions after the initial H1b are counted towards the recaptured time? I would like to avoid the lottery as It will not allow me to work till October 2022.
I would appreciate it if anyone can share their insights and have gone through a similar situation.