Can I renew the unused H1B visa and not wait for next year H1 quota


I was in US on H1B. My H1B was going to expire in OCT 2012, but I moved back to India in Oct 2011 itself, one year ahead of my visa expiry date.

Now I intend to go back to US, so would like to know if the visa of 1 year (period from Oct2011 to Oct 2012) which i havent utilized earlier can be used now by another company. or my only option is to get new visa.



Another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you using the previously approved petition. The petition can be approved for any term of 1-3 years based on submitted documents and information.

Note that you can spend at most 6 years inside US on H-1 and an employer can continue to file extension petitions for you until that cap is reached.

Thanks for your reply Saurabh. I see on my I797 form that the petition was valid till 06 Oct 2012. Can still the same petition be reused another employer or by same employer.

Like I said, same/another employer will have to file a cap-exempt petition for you. The old petition cannot be used as it has expired. But they can use it as a reference to file cap-exempt petition.