On October 17, 2023, DOS sent for review a Federal Register notice entitled Pilot Program to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the United States for Certain Qualified Noncitizens to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This document, once published, will lay out the eligibility criteria for participation in the Stateside Visa Renewal pilot program (pilot program). We are given to understand that the following are the salient features of the pilot program as outlined in the latest update from AILA.

  • Begin in early 2024
  • Be limited to H-1B principals only
  • Be limited to nationals of countries that are not subject to reciprocity fees
    • India will be one of the eligible countries to participate in the pilot program
  • Have eligibility requirements like those for participation in the interview waiver program
  • Be available for 20,000 applicants; and
  • Be voluntary participation.

The initial launch of the stateside renewal program will be a limited pilot to test out the operationality of the stateside renewal program. DOS has expressed its strong intent to expand this program after the initial launch has allowed them to work out any operational issues.