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H1-B transfer -- URGENT Please help!

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Junior Member
I worked for a company from March 1996 to September 1997 under a H1-B, while enrolled in my Ph.D. program. I joined the Ph.D. under F1 and maintained my student status throughout with a valid I-20 before and after this employment. I had a change of status (COS) in September 1997 to F1.

After completing my Ph.D. in December 2001, (I did not leave USA for more than 1 year between Sept 1997 and Dec 2001) I have worked for a company from Jan 2002 - March 2003; then transferred to my current company for which I was issued a 3-yr H1-B from April 2003 to March 2006.

I have now been tentatively offered a job by another company. But before sending me the final offer letter they want to know -- IF THEY TRANSFER MY CURRENT H1-B, TILL WHEN WILL MY H1-B BE EXTENDED? WILL MY H1-B TENURE FROM MARCH 96 TO SEPT 97 BE COUNTED IN THE 6-YEAR LIMIT?

I was told by someone that since my first H1-B was way back in 1996-97 -- much more than 6 years from now, it will not be entered in the I-129 application for the new H1-B and hence will not be counted and hence MY NEW H1-B WILL BE EXTENDED UPTO DECEMBER 2007 and not earlier. IS THAT CORRECT?

I did check the I-129. Nowhere does it ask for H1-B tenures more than 6 years ago. In the "H1-B Data Collection and iling Fee Exemption Supplement" section, Part C they ask this question: "Has the beneficiary of this petition been previously granted status as an H1-B non-immigrant in the past 6 yrs and not left the United States for more than one year after attaining such status?"

So is my H1-B tenure from 1996-97 a material fact that should be revealed even if not asked for specifically? Where in the I-129 application do I have to declare this irrespective of whether they were in the past 6 yrs or more than 6 years ago?

Could anyone with the correct answer please help me out here -- I need to get back to my prospective employer ASAP.

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