Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / News / Pilot program would allow more H-1B visa renewals

Pilot program would allow more H-1B visa renewals

The U.S. Department of State has launched a pilot program allowing certain H-1B visa holders to renew their visas within the United States instead of having to travel abroad.

To be eligible, H-1B visa holders must meet a specific set of criteria, including having previously been issued an H-1B visa by the US consulate in Canada (between January 2020-April 2023) or India (between February 2021-September 2021).

The online application portal will open for 2,000 visa renewal slots for Canada and 2,000 slots for India every week starting January 29 through April 1, 2024. Applicants must complete an online DS-160 form and submit documents like their passport, I-94, and recent H-1B approval notice. Processing is expected to take six to eight weeks.

The goal of this time-limited pilot program is to bring back domestic H-1B visa renewals (which last occurred in 2003), reducing wait times and travel costs. Through this pilot, the government hopes to gather meaningful data to improve the process and eventually expand to more visa types and countries.

The program will help foreign workers avoid the uncertainties and costs of renewing abroad. They’ll also be able to avoid the lengthy wait times for overseas consulate appointments and interviews, which can limit their travel opportunities.

U.S. employers will benefit as well, eliminating the risk of an employee getting stranded abroad due to visa processing delays.