DOS Resumes Renewals of Domestic H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas

It was announced previously that the Department of State would run a pilot program to resume domestic visa renewals for certain H-1B nonimmigrant visa applicants. This pilot program has begun to accept applications on January 29th, 2024, and has a deadline of April 1, 2024 or until all of the applications slots in this pilot program are filled. The Department of State have allotted 20,000 application slots.

Applications will only be received through an online portal, and will be processed on a first-received, first processed basis. As of March 11, 2024, the DOS states that they have received a lower number of applications than they expected, and that application slots are still available.

In order to apply for the pilot program, applicants will have to follow this process:

  1. Select the country where your most recent H-1B visa was issued (This initial pilot is applicable only to the renewal of visas issued in India and Canada). Then follow the online navigator tool to assess your qualifications for participation in the pilot.
  1. 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).
  1. Use the online portal to pay the required, non-refundable, non-transferrable Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) application processing fee of $205.00
  1. Follow the instructions on the portal to mail your passport and other required documents of processing.

We provided a more in-depth explanation on the eligibility requirements and the overall process of the Domestic Renewal Pilot Program on our website that you can find here.

The DOS created an online Domestic Renewal Pilot Program navigator tool to assist you in determining whether you qualify to participate in the program. One of the most important renewal eligibility criteria is that the prior H-1B visa that was issued by U.S. Mission Canada must have an issuance date of January 1, 202 through April 1, 2024 or by U.S. Mission India with an issuance date of February 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

While the navigator tool was created to assist potential applicants in reviewing their eligibility, it cannot guarantee to screen out all applicants who may not be eligible. To best review your eligibility, reach out to our office to speak with an attorney who can assist you in determining if you are suitable for this program.

Schedule a Consulation