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Friday, June 14, 2024  
07 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

US begins domestic renewal of H-1B visa applicants

Program will help 20,000 nonimmigrant workers
Photo via US State Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs
Photo via US State Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs

The United States started on Monday the domestic visa renewals for certain H-1B visa applicants without requiring them to leave the country.

The decision taken for the first time in nearly two decades would pave the way for as many as 20,000 nonimmigrant workers, Visa Guide reported.

According to the US State Department, the pilot program would continue till April 1, 2024, or when all application slots are filled, whichever comes first.

The new pilot program aims to reduce the heavy backlogs at more than 200 consular sections worldwide by allowing an increased number of interview appointments for other visa categories, in particular first-time travellers applying for business and tourism visas which require in-person interviews.

How to apply to pilot programme

  • Select the country where your most recent H-1B visa was issued. Then follow the online navigator tool to assess your qualifications for participation in the pilot.

  • If you meet the requirements for participation, follow the instructions in the portal to complete and submit an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (form DS-160).

  • Use the online portal to pay the required, non-refundable, non-transferrable Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) application processing fee of $205.00.

  • Follow the instructions on the portal to mail your passport and other required documents for processing.

The US State Department will make available a maximum of 20,000 application slots during this limited pilot program: approximately 2,000 per week for applicants whose most recent H-1B visa was issued by US Mission Canada with an issuance date of January 1, 2020 through April 1, 2023, and approximately 2,000 per week for applicants whose most recent H-1B was issued by US Mission India with an issuance date of February 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

The initial pilot is limited to renewal of visas issued in India and Canada.

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