The State Department Will Create a Stateside Visa Renewal Pilot Program for H-1B Workers
In October 17, 2023, The Department of State (DOS) sent for review a Federal Register notice entitled Pilot Program to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the United States for Certain Qualified Noncitizens to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This document, once published, will lay out the eligibility criteria for participation in the Stateside Visa Renewal pilot program (pilot program).
While full details of the scope of the pilot program will be shared in the Federal Register notice when published, AILA understands that it will:
1) Begin in early 2024;
2) Be limited to H-1B principals only;
3) Be limited to nationals of countries that are not subject to reciprocity fees;
3a) India will be one of the eligible countries to participate in the pilot program;
4) Have eligibility requirements like those for participation in the interview waiver program;
5) Be available for 20,000 applicants; and
6) Be voluntary participation.
The initial launch of the stateside renewal program will be a limited pilot to test out the operationality of the stateside renewal program. DOS has expressed its strong intent to expand this program after the initial launch has allowed them to work out any operational issues.
If you have more questions once the pilot program starts, please schedule a consultation with our office.