The U.S. Department of State (DoS) announced a pilot program to resume processing visa renewals for certain H-1B visa applicants domestically. The program was launched in the week of January 29, 2024. According to the Department, approximately 20,000 participants will meet the requirements listed in the Federal Register.

Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • They are seeking to renew an H-1B visa.
  • They have a previous H-1B visa stamp that was issued in Canada (with an issuance date between Jan. 1, 2020 and March 1, 2023) or Mexico (with an issuance date between Feb. 2, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2021).
  • They are not subject to a non-immigrant visa issuance fee or reciprocity fee.
  • They are eligible for waiver of the in-person interview requirement.
  • They submitted fingerprints to the Department of State in connection with their previous visa application.
  • Their previous visa does not have a “clearance received” annotation.
  • They do not have a visa ineligibity that would require a waiver prior to visa issuance.
  • They have an approved and unexpired H-1B petition.
  • They are currently in H-1B status, are maintaining status, and their I-94 has not expired.
  • They intend to re-enter the U.S. in H-1B status if they will be traveling internationally in the near future.

Application Period

Beginning January 29, 2024, and each Monday thereafter through February 2024, the Department will release approximately 4,000 application slots split evenly between applicants whose recent H-1B visas were issued by Mission Canada and by Mission India. Once the limit is reached each week, the online portal will be locked until the following Monday when the next batch of slots are released.

The application period for the pilot will close when all application slots are filled and will close on April 1, 2024. Learn more about online application process.

Application Information

The average processing time for a domestic visa renewal application is expected to be six to eight weeks from the time that passports and other required documents are received. The Department will not consider requests for expedited processing and will aim to complete all applications no later than May 1, 2024.

Visit the Department of State, Federal Register, and Fragomen for more detailed information.

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