Can I reclaim years from my previous H-1B


I entered US in July 20th 2000 and left on 7th Feb 2009. I applied for my green card in 2007 and subsequently cleared the second stage in May 2008. Using this approval of second stage of the green card, I got my H-1B extended through a new employer from Oct 2008 to July 2011. Unfortunately, this new employer was a startup which went out of business in late October 2008. I moved back to an old employer who had still not cancelled my H-1. This H-1 was valid till July 2009. I however resigned in December 2008 and got paid till 31st December 2008. I left US in first week of February 2009 after getting Indian visa for my 6 month old daughter.

Given the above information, would I be able to reclaim the number of years left on my H-1B which was valid till July 2011? Please note that this employer notified USCIS about the layoff in November 2008. So, in all probability this H-1B must have gotten cancelled. by the time I left US in Feb 2009.

Expert comments will be highly appreciated.

I don’t think you will get those number of years back. The H1B beneficiary can use the remainder of the maximum allowed 6 years when he/she is eligible to file a cap-exempt petition citing the previous approval. But you have already used that maximum period of stay.

In any case, you need to file a fresh cap-subject H1B petition to work again in US. So its better to use the new 6 years you are eligible to work in US.