Close Side Menu
1601 Market Street
Suite 2600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215.825.8695
Fax: 215.825.8699
225 West 34th Street
14 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10122
Phone: 646.787.1371
Fax: 215.825.8699
1 Thomas Cir NW – Industrious Thomas Circle
Suite 700
Washington D.C., 20005
Phone: 202-970-2642
Fax: 202-810-9031
Client Portal Pay Invoice

U.S State Department Plans Pilot Program for Domestic Visa Renewal


The U.S. State Department confirmed in an article late last week that the agency plans to launch a pilot program later this year offering visa renewal options in the United States for H-1B specialty occupation workers and other temporary visa holders who are currently required to travel abroad to obtain visas. Julie Stufft, deputy assistant secretary for visa services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, explained that “restoring stateside visa renewals, which were discontinued in 2004, will save those applicants from having to leave the country, and will reduce the workload of consular offices abroad.”

The pilot program is expected to benefit H-1B and L visa workers and it could eventually be expanded.  Adding the domestic processing option does not require the State Department to issue new regulations, but Stufft explained that the new program requires setting up a new consular division in Washington, D.C. which is “not a small endeavor.” 

The program is yet another response, like the interview waivers, the Department of State has implemented to reduce the visa backlog that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local conditions, restrictions, and staffing issues created delays and visa appointment backlogs. Immigration groups like the American Immigration Lawyers Association have urged the Department of State to add the domestic renewal option to reduce bottlenecks abroad.  Foreign workers in the U.S. were unable to travel abroad due to the lack of appointment availabilities and uncertainty of visa issuance. For those that did travel, many faced appointment cancellations or changes, delaying their return to the United States for months, adding further disruptions for employers. 

The announcement provides welcome relief, but the Department of State has not yet provided full details.  We will provide further updates as more information is released.

Please contact your Klasko Law attorney with any questions regarding this client alert.  

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.  An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation.  The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  For permission, contact

  • Corporate Immigration

    We work with key stakeholders from multinational corporations, universities, research institutions, hospitals, and midsize to small companies in managing and developing their business immigration programs.
  • Global Immigration

    The global immigration attorney team at Klasko Immigration Law Partners is dedicated to providing high-level client service and custom solutions to corporations with a global workforce.

Stay updated! Sign up for our newsletter.

We'll keep you in the loop with important developments in the modern immigration.