- The Department of State (DOS) intends to launch a pilot program for visa renewals this year
- The program will initially be open to L and H visa holders and may expand to other categories later
- H-1B and L visa holders will be allowed to renew their visas from within the US
- DOS has not yet provided additional details on when the program will launch
As announced by a Department of State (DOS) official in an interview with Bloomberg Law, DOS announced plans to launch a pilot program later in 2023 that will allow some temporary visa holders, including H-1B specialty occupation workers, to renew their visas from the US rather than having to travel to their home countries.
Although DOS had a stateside visa renewal program in the past, the program stopped in 2004.
Now, DOS plans to restart the program to reduce the workload for consular officers so that applicants don’t have to leave the US to renew their visas, as was previously required. While the pilot program is designed to help people who are renewing visas, it will also help first-time applicants by reducing wait times at US consular offices.
Initially, the pilot program will be offered to L and H visa holders. The program may expand to more visa categories in the future. DOS still needs to provide details on when the program will start, but we will provide more information when it is available.
Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Frank Fogelbach, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: Bloomberg Law