Domestic H-1B Visa Renewal Pilot Begins January 29, 2024

 

 

Overview

  • Program Scope: H-1B principal visa holders only.
  • Purpose: To assess the impact of domestic visa renewals on visa processing capabilities.
  • Selected Missions: Mission India and Mission Canada, representing a global population sample.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Time Frame: January 29, 2024 – April 1, 2024.
  • Prior Visa: Issued by Mission Canada (Jan 1, 2020 – Apr 1, 2023) or Mission India (Feb 1, 2021 – Sep 30, 2021).
  • Other Requirements: No visa issuance fee, eligible for interview waiver, ten fingerprints previously submitted, no “clearance received” annotation, no waiver-required visa ineligibilities, valid and unexpired H-1B petition, maintaining H-1B status in the U.S., unexpired period of authorized admission, intent to reenter the U.S. in H-1B status after a temporary period abroad.

Application Process

  • Application Period: January 29, 2024 – April 1, 2024.
  • Slots Availability:
    • January 29, 2024
    • February 5, 2024
    • February 12, 2024
    • February 19, 2024
    • February 26, 2024
  • Submission: Via official website:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/domesticrenewal.html.
  • Process: Choose consular post of the most recent visa issuance, answer eligibility questions, submit Form DS-160, pay MRV fee, send passport and documents through a courier to DOS.
  • Required Documents: Completed DS-160, recent photograph, valid passport, Form I-797, I-94 record.
  • Application Return: Possible for unqualified applicants, MRV fee shall be non-refundable.

Adjudication and Outcome

  • Processing Order: Based on the order that the application is received.
  • Processing Time: Expected 6-8 weeks, completion by May 1, 2024.
  • No Expedited Processing: Withdrawal possible for urgent travel.
  • Visa-Issuance: Visas and documents returned via USPS or courier.
  • Visa Refusal: Non-refundable MRV fee, 221(g) will be issued, and reapplication required abroad for ineligible applicants.

Conclusion

This pilot program is a strategic move to evaluate and potentially enhance the efficiency of visa processing, with specific criteria and a defined process for eligible H-1B principals. AILA’s active involvement and the feedback mechanism underscore the significance of this initiative in the broader context of visa policy and processing.

To check if you qualify, you may fill out this below form, although it is not guaranteed to be accurate.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecHSskOLPC-cy_Bg_G0eA4IW9QqBZVcpmMUcj-UNXlfOVSfg/viewform

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