Can a previous H1B petition be used by a new employer to get a H1B visa?


I am working in US presently on a L1B-I visa for the past 1.5 yrs for company A. Now if I want to join company B, my option would be that company B sponsors a H1B for me, but since this year’s quota has got over, this option is ruled out.

However, I had been to US previously on a H1-B visa (via same company A) and stayed for 3 yrs on that H1B visa (June 2004 to May 2007). After that I went back to India and my H1B visa got expired in July 2008. So essentially I utilized 3 yrs from my H1B visa. I have heard that since I had an old H1-B visa which was not completely utilised for 6 years, then the new employer B can use this H1-B petition to get me a visa for the remaining term. Moreover, since the original H1B petition was already approved, so this will not be counted against this year’s quota as well.

Is this possible? If yes, then what will be the tenure for which I will get my H1-B visa? Will it be 6-3 = 3 yrs or will it be 6-3-1.5 (for L1B period stay) = 1.5 yrs?

Another option which I came across a blog was that a Green Card can be applied by a new employer for future employement. Once the employer files a GC for a prospective employee, then the employee can start working for that employer from that day onwards and he /she does not have to wait till the approval stage.
Will this work out?

An early response will be very helpful.



Filing a cap-exempt petition using your previous H1B is not possible as it was approved in 2004 - it should have been approved in the last 6 years to be eligible.

Thanks for the clarification Sujith.
I want to clarify one more thing. My original H1-B was approved for the duration of 22-Oct-2003 to 13-Feb-2006. I then got it extended from 08-Feb-2006 to 25-Jul-2008. But I had gone back to India in May 2007 and then did not return back till 2010 on my L1B. Thus my H1-B got expired.

So, the 6 years limitation is imposed by USCIS? When would that 6 yrs start from? From the date of original petition (22-Oct-2003) or from the date of the extension (08-Feb-2006) ? Is there no other way out?

Hi Sujith,
I am in a same boat. I have approved I797 of May 2008. never used it. got 221g when i went for stamping. Now I am in usa on L1b visa and got offer from other employer. Can I use my old I797 for H1 transfer under cap exempt?