US Launches Innovative H-1B Visa Renewal Program for Domestic Applicants Starting January 29

The U.S. State Department introduces a pilot program for the domestic renewal of 20,000 H-1B visas, starting January 29, 2024.

Dec 22, 2023 - 17:48
Dec 22, 2023 - 17:49
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US Launches Innovative H-1B Visa Renewal Program for Domestic Applicants Starting January 29

The United States Department of State has set January 29, 2024, as the start date for a new trial initiative aimed at facilitating the renewal of H-1B visas domestically. The application window for this pilot program is slated to close on April 1, 2024.

According to information released in the federal register, the trial will be limited to a total of 20,000 applicants. Eligibility for participation is restricted to individuals whose visas were originally granted by the US Embassy or Consulate in Canada between January 1, 2020, and April 1, 2023, or by the US Embassy or Consulate in India from February 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021.

The federal register further specifies that this renewal program will not extend to H-4 visa holders, who are the dependents of H-1B visa holders, and thus are ineligible for renewal within the United States as part of this pilot.

The objective of confining the pilot program exclusively to principal H-1B visa holders is to enhance the program's efficacy for American businesses. This is especially pertinent for those companies whose employees on H-1B visas may need to travel internationally for business and face the possibility of delays in returning to the US should their visa expire while abroad, as detailed in the register.

The renewal application can be submitted online starting January 29, 2024, with a processing fee of $205. The Department plans to make available a certain number of application slots on a weekly basis. These slots will be evenly distributed between candidates with visas from Canadian and Indian US Missions.

This weekly allocation of slots will continue up until February 26, 2024. The program will terminate prematurely if the cap of 20,000 visas is reached before this date. Conversely, if the cap is not met, the program will persist until either the cap is filled or until April 1, 2024, as the latest end date, as per the official notice.

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