US Launches Pilot Program Allowing H-1B Visa Renewals In-country
The US Department of State has introduced a significant change that allows H-1B visa holders, including Indian nationals, to renew their visas while staying in the US, a departure from the previous requirement to obtain renewals abroad. This change, initiated through a pilot program announced in June 2023, aims to streamline and simplify the visa renewal process for nonimmigrant workers.
The pilot program will accept a total of 20,000 participants over the next five weeks, evenly distributed between workers who recently obtained their H-1B specialty occupation visas from consulates in India and Canada. A dedicated website allows visa holders to confirm their eligibility and submit visa applications.
This change marks a significant milestone, following the commitment of both nations to enhance the lives of temporary visa holders and streamline visa procedures. Ajay Bhutoria, a prominent advocate for immigration issues, hailed this initiative as a positive change that will benefit thousands of individuals working in the US and contribute to the nation's economic growth.
The pilot program is currently limited to H-1B workers who meet specific criteria but may expand to include other visa categories in the future, pending successful implementation.