Need to confirm whether I am H1B cap exempt or not


I had H1B visa valid from Ocotber 2010 to September 2011. My case was picked in April 2010 lottery. I never travlled to USA on this visa. Now I have moved to USA in October 2015 on H4 visa. I want to apply for jobs and want to know if I am cap exempt. If yes, till when my case would be exempt from lottery process.


You are exempted for 6 years from original approval date. So Oct 2016 in your case.

Thank you, Saurabh for responding. I too had this understanding but I read some conflicting stories on some forums. Someone had mentioned that their attorney did not process petition as cap exempt because they had never travelled on H1B when it was valid and hence it never was ‘activated’, which is as if it was never filed. This made me skeptical. I too got a reply from an attorney on avvo that I will need to got for new cap subject petition in coming April. But found some stories where cap exempt went through even when prior H1B was not used.

I have read about cases online where this was successful. So you should find an employer, let them know about your case and let their attorney figure out best action path.

Thank you, Saurabh. I appreciate your suggestion.


I am adding an update for the sake of closure/completion on this topic.
Yes, I was cap exempt. I got a job and employer’s attorney reviewed my case and filed for H1B as cap exempt.

However I did not get H1B because employer withdrew the petition as the job was no longer available.