United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a new memorandum relevant to H-1B visa applicants. Read the entire memo(.pdf, 105.5K), or here is a summary of the issues:
(1) Time spent in H-4 status will not count against the 6 year limit;
(2) Extensions of status are available even if outside the U.S. and not in H-1B status; and
(3) H-1B visa holders who leave the US before expiration of the 6 year limit and stay outside the US more than one year have the option of reentering for the remainder of the time left on the 6 year limit (and avoiding the "Cap") or applying for a new six years and being subject to the Cap.