Do I really need to apply for visa within one year period of NVC notice?

#1
I have an approved NIW petition and NVC send me the visa application notice in February. Since I have a 2 year home country requirement to complete, I am unable to apply for the visa within 1 year of notice. Has anyone waited more than one year to apply for visa? They say if I keep my communication with NVC within one year, they will keep my case open beyond one year. Is this true? Could anyone suggest me what are some good options I should explore? Any pointers in this regard is highly appreciated
 
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