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U.S. State Dept.: H-1B Stateside Visa Renewal Pilot Program Coming in 2024


The Department of State has submitted notice to the Federal Register of its intention to resume the renewal of H-1B nonimmigrant visas in the United States for certain applicants, the strongest indication yet that stateside visa renewals may soon become available. Currently, the State Department can only process visa applications at its Embassies and consular posts abroad and does not offer a stateside option for visa issuance.

According to the Notice, the resumption of this program, which was discontinued in response to security concerns after the 9/11 attacks, will begin with a Pilot Program scheduled to roll out in early 2024. In its initial phase, the stateside visa renewal program is expected to be limited to H-1B principal visa applicants (not dependents). The pilot program will have additional eligibility requirements for participation, similar to those for the interview waiver program implemented by the State Department during the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, the applicant must be renewing a visa issued within a limited number of years prior to the renewal submission) and will be voluntary (applicants will still have the option of obtaining visas abroad through regular visa processing).

One significant limitation of the pilot program is that it will be limited to nationals of countries whose visas are not subject to reciprocity fees. These fees vary in amount and are meant to equalize the cost of a visa for each country’s nationals with the fees charged by that country to US nationals seeking comparable visas. Likely because these fees vary in amount and need to be refunded if the visa cannot be issued, including them in the pilot program would have delayed the rollout. Of note, India will be one of the eligible countries for participation in the pilot program, as there is no applicable reciprocity fee. 

The program is expected to help reduce consular delays, which were exacerbated by the pandemic and have continued in certain locations. The initial pilot will test the operational capacity of the stateside renewal program, and availability is expected to be capped at 20,000 applicants. If successful, the program is expected to expand to other employment-based visa categories following its initial launch, although full implementation is likely to take some time.

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

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