Time spent outside the United States exceeding 24 hours or more does not count toward H-1B (or L) time of admission. This time may be recaptured for subsequent H-1B (or L) status. In most situations, the recapture time is requested at the end of the allowable H-1B (or L) stay.
The burden is on the petitioning employer and foreign national to present evidence of time outside of the United States. Based on the evidence provided, USCIS may grant all, part, or none of the time requested. Thus, we recommend you keep well-documented and well-organized evidence of these travels.
If an H-1B worker was previously counted against the H-1B numerical cap and has been outside the U.S. for more than a year, the petitioner may choose to recapture time, if available, via an H-1B petition.
The ability to recapture time spent abroad and/or revive a prior cap-subject H-1B is a valuable strategic decision to consider as part of an overall immigration strategy.