Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced its plans to launch a pilot program to allow for domestic renewals of H and L nonimmigrant visas. This is a welcome announcement because it means holders of those visas who are already in the US would not be required to travel to a consulate abroad for visa renewals. The creation of such a program requires the State Department to set up a new consular division in Washington, DC, that is anticipated to be the largest US consular section in the world.
In April, DOS indicated they hoped to roll out the pilot program in October of this year. In June, the White House confirmed that DOS intends to implement the program for an expanded group of H1B and L visa holders in 2024. It is possible the program will expand to other categories in the future as well.
It appears the rollout of the pilot program now may be delayed. The U.S. Mission to India recently reported the pilot program will be rolled out early next year. At this time, DOS offers no further detail regarding the timing of the implementation of the domestic visa renewal pilot program. We will continue to monitor the updates for this promising development.
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