This just in! The long-awaited domestic visa renewal pilot program was formally announced today. This new program will allow certain employment-based visa holders to apply for a new visa by mail from inside the U.S., instead of having to visit a U.S. Consulate abroad. With visa appointments still hard to come by in some countries, this domestic renewal option could be a game changer. The pilot program is only available to people who are currently in H-1B status and whose previous H-1B visa was issued by a Consulate in Canada or India. There are several other eligibility requirements that further restrict who can use this pilot program. The hope is that if the program is a success, it will become permanent and will be expanded to cover additional visa categories.
The State Department will start accepting online applications for the pilot program on January 29, 2024. A limited number of applications will be accepted each week. The program will continue through either April 1, 2024, or until 20,000 applications are received, whichever comes first.
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