Pilot Program for Domestic Renewal of H-1B Visas Expected to Begin in Early 2024
In February 2023, the Department of State (DOS) announced its intention to implement a pilot program offering visa renewal options within the United States for certain nonimmigrant visa holders. In October 2023, the rules for this new program were submitted for White House review and are waiting for final approval.
The process for obtaining a renewed nonimmigrant visa stamp currently requires individuals to either attend an appointment at or submit documentation to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Consular visa application processes can be lengthy depending on the filing location, and a domestic renewal option is anticipated to assist in decreasing the necessity to travel abroad the associated travel risks to renewal applicants.
While full details are yet to be released, the pilot program is expected to begin in early 2024 and will be available to 20,000 H-1B visa holders seeking to renew the visa stamps in their passports. This option is limited to principal H-1B visa holders only and will not yet be available to dependent H-4 visa holders. Although the number of available domestic renewals will be limited to 20,000 H-1B visa holders, the DOS has indicated that additional visa categories, such as L-1, may be added once the program has been fully implemented.
Foster LLP will continue to track updates and news related to new immigration programs and will make future updates available via the firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.