Published on December 20, 2023
The Department of State has released additional guidance regarding the stateside visa pilot program. This program will enable H-1B visa holders to renew their H-1B visas within the United States.
Participation in the pilot program is limited to individuals who meet the following requirements:
- They are seeking to renew an H-1B visa.
- Their prior H-1B visa was issued by Mission Canada with an issuance date from January 1, 2020, through April 1, 2023; or by Mission India with an issuance date of February 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
- They are not subject to a nonimmigrant visa issuance fee (also known as a “reciprocity fee”).
- They are eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview requirement.
- They have submitted ten fingerprints to the Department in connection with a previous visa application.
- Their prior visa does not include a “clearance received” annotation.
- They do not have a visa ineligibility that would require a waiver prior to visa issuance.
- They have an approved and unexpired H-1B petition.
- They were most recently admitted into the United States in H-1B status.
- They are currently maintaining H-1B status in the United States.
- Their period of authorized admission in H-1B status (i.e., I-94 record) has not expired.
- They intend to reenter the United States in H-1B status after a temporary period abroad.
The pilot program will accept visa applications under this program from January 29, 2024, to April 1, 2024. Applicants who meet the requirements may apply online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/domestic-renewal.html. To control the number of applications, the Department of State will release approximately 4,000 visa application slots each week, starting on January 29th. The application period will close when all application slots are filled, or on April 1, 2024, whichever comes earlier.
Please note that the Department of State is limiting the scope of the pilot program to H-1B principal applicants. H-4 applicants are not eligible to participate in the stateside visa processing program at this time.
The Ryan Swanson Immigration attorneys continue to monitor updates for additional information relating to the pilot program. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office with any questions or assistance related to the program and/or visa processing.