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Does a Trip to U.S. Will Make Me Ineligible for Another 6 Years of H-1B?

Hi William:

I used all my 6 years of H-1B status in US, and I will go back to my home country for one year to apply for H1B visa later after one year. During this one year, does a brief business trip to US will make me ineligible for another six years of H1B status?


H-1B workers have a general limit of six years of time in H-1B status. This may be extended, based upon the filing of a qualifying employment-based Green Card case. Alternatively, individuals who reside outside the United States for one year become eligible for a full six-years of H-1B time. The latter cases are subject to the H1B annual limit or "cap." 

The USCIS stated that stays in the U.S. that are not within the brief trip for business or pleasure category may cause the clock to reset. This would mean that the individual would have to start counting the year abroad from the point of his/her most recent departure from the United States. The USCIS did not give any indication of the permitted length of such trips. It is helpful to know the one-year-abroad requirement for a foreign national to become eligible for another six years of H1B status, as well as the USCIS' interpretation of brief visits. 

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