The U.S. State Department 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 U.S. rather than having to travel to their home countries to renew at U.S. Consulates abroad.
While the State Department had a stateside visa renewal program in the past, the program was discontinued in 2004.
The State Department has opted to restore the program, which will have the benefit of reducing the visa backlogs at U.S. consular offices abroad. . In addition, once implemented, the pilot program will greatly benefit H-1B and L-1 workers, as it will allow them to renew their visas within the United States instead of having to travel overseas to renew at a U.S. consulate. While the pilot program is designed to help people who are renewing their visas, it will also help first-time applicants by reducing appointment wait times at U.S. consular offices.
Initially, the program will be offered to those who hold L and H visas. The program may be expanded to more visa categories in the future. The State Department has not yet provided details on when the program will start, the number of visas they will be able to accommodate through the pilot program, or any limitations on eligibility for the pilot program, but we will provide more information when it is available.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Jaclyn Pettit, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates (GIA), one of the two independent U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").
Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.