H1-B validity when moved to India temporarily


New Member
Dear Rajiv Sir,

I heard about this forum from my friends. Here is a brief description of the my current H1-B situation. Please advice on the next available options.

I completed my masters degree in 2016 May.
Worked under OPT till Oct 2017. (Got H1-B completed a change of status in Oct 2017)
H1-B approval duration was for 1 year (till Oct 2018)
Company applied for an extension(there was no premium processing available during that time)
Got an RFE - attorney filed the RFE in Apr 2019 and also travelled to India in Apr 2019 due to personal reasons.
Got the H1-B rejection in June 2019 while I was in India. Had to stay back in India due to this.
Currently I am in India for the past 2.5 years working for an Indian software company.

I have used only almost 1 year and 8 months of my allocated H1-B only for an employer.

My question is till when can I use this petition ( i94 was allocated till 2023 I believe)?
Do the H1B timer continue even though I am in India and I have not used this?
Can I initiate this same H1B receipt number whenever I get a chance through some company in US.

So to make the question simple, what is the true validity of the H1-B once allocated if you are not in US ?
Can I initiate it any time later eg: 2022 end and what max duration I can get the approval ?
And also what are my best options to come back to US?

Thanks & Regards,
Kiran Satheesh Nair