Do I have to claim unused time on my H1B or Can I come back early?


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I am currently on a cap-exempt H1B visa for an employer who is not willing to sponsor a green card for me. Now, my H1B visa expires on July 7th, 2016 (six years). I have approximately 4 months of unused time spent outside of US during last six years. After an unsuccessful NIW green case denied in December 2015, I am not left with lot of options for continuous employment with my current employer.

I have the following question with my current immigration situation:

My employer has agreed to give me leave of absence for maximum 12 months (without pay). I understand that I need to spend one year outside of US to get a fresh H1B visa. Do I have to spend full 1 year or can I use that 4 months of unused time towards one year and come back in 8 months?

Please help. Thank you in advance.

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