Apply Fresh H1B when Old H1B is on Extension

Hi ,

I received approval for my H1b during March 2011.

Currently I am On H1B Extension valid until Dec 2016. I am currently in USA .

My Question is -

  1. Can I apply fresh H1B visa in April 2016 even though my old H1B extension is valid until dec 2016?

  2. If Answer to Qustion-1 is NO then Can i apply fresh H1B during April 2017 ? (May be I turn my current H1b to H4 during Nov-dec 2016 since I can not leave US due to personal reason and apply fresh H1B during april 2017 ).

Thanks .

  1. Through same employer - No. Extension through same employer can be filed at most 6 months prior to petition expiration date. Through another employer - Yes, can be filed anytime.

  2. I don’t know how long you have spent inside US, but you can spend at most 6 years inside US on H-1. Once that limit is reached, extensions cannot be filed through same/different employer. There are some exceptions when your Green Card has been applied and has reached a certain stage.

Thank You Saurabh for replying .

I am in US since Aug 2011 and in dec 2013 i applied extension which got approved until dec 2016.
So please let me know if I can apply fresh H1B visa ( April 2016 - 65000 Quota) through different employer even though my extension is valid until dec 2016?

You can apply a cap-exempt petition (aka H-1 transfer) through another employer in 2016 without going the quota again. This is b/c you would have completed only 5 years inside US on H-1. Once you reach 6 year clock inside US on H-1 (through sum of all H-1 employment through all employers), you have to physically stay outside US for 1 year before going through that 65K cap again.

This means, in 2016 another employer applies for 1 year of H-1. You max out your H-1 time in 2017 (6 years of stay inside US) and then apply for H-1 in 65K cap when the quota next opens.