I140 approved - Cannot apply for H1B extension.


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Have an I140 approved, but employer says not eligible to apply for H1B extension. This is my status with timelines.


Nov 12th 2003 - Nov 11th 2009 - First H1b period/status

July 2009 - Labour applied in sixth year

Oct 31st 2009 - I left the US on H1B status

Nov 11th 2009 - My H1B status expired.

March 14th 2010 - Entered US on B1 visa

March end 2010 - Labour approval notice recd

April 09th 2010 - Exited US on B1 visa

April 2011 - I140 approval notice recd.

June 2nd week 2011 - I request for premium H1B process, based on I140 approval. Was Hoping to be back in US by mid July.

June 4th week 2011 - Companys says I am not eligible for H1B extension though I140 approved, as more than 18 months have passed since I left the US on last H1B (Oct 31st 2009). I am eligible to apply for a fresh H1B only, and can earliest enter only on Oct 1st 2011 after H1B approval.

This sounded a bit strange to me and I was not convinced. Is anyone aware if there is an 18 month rule or something to that effect? Does anyone see a constraint in my application for an H1B extension.

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