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

Hi William:

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


The 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 application 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 H-1B annual limit or "cap." 

The USCIS has indicated that stays in the U.S. that are not within the brief trip for business or pleasure category may cause the clock to reset of applying for H-1B visa again. 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. Therefore, it is helpful to know the one-year-abroad requirement for a foreign national to become eligible for another six years of H-1B status, as well as the USCIS' interpretation of brief visits. 

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