My 1st Petition was approved in 2013. I travelled to US in Mar-2016 and returned on Apr-2017. I-797 extension was expired in April-2019. Am I eligible for H-1B Cap exemption?
Yes you are eligible for cap-exempt for unused period of the 6 years term of your H1B.
Thank you Kalpesh for your reply. I asked the same question to my employer but they said that if the initial petition was approved before 6 years, then not eligible for cap exemption. Could you please direct me to any link or source which can confirm these rules. Thank you once again.
The rule was updated in 2017 via clarification.
Below excerpts from the link.
Comment. A few commenters urged DHS to clarify that there is no “statute of limitations” on recapture. Some of these commenters noted that nothing in INA 214(g)(7) restricts USCIS from granting unused H-1B time when a recapture request is made more than 6 years after the initial grant of the H-1B petition. One commenter asked DHS to clarify that time spent inside the United States in another nonimmigrant status is “recapturable.” This commenter stated that the proposed regulatory text allows recapture only for time in which the foreign national was physically outside the United States.
Response. In the final rule, DHS clarifies that, consistent with its existing policy, there is no time limitation on recapturing the remainder of the initial 6-year period of H-1B admission under INA 214(g)(4).[83
Also explained by Kumar in a very good article on this forum.