DOS Anticipates Inception of Stateside Visa Renewal Pilot Early Next Year

October 19, 2023

The Department of State (DOS) has recently submitted a Federal Register notice titled “Pilot Program to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the United States for Specific Eligible Noncitizens” to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for evaluation. This pending notice will provide a detailed outline of the criteria for participating in the upcoming Stateside Visa Renewal pilot program.

In response to the long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been continuous appeals to reinstate the Stateside Visa Renewal program, primarily to address consular backlogs. Following the announcement of DOS’s plan to rejuvenate the program, close watch has been kept on the progress and construction of this pilot initiative.

The forthcoming Federal Register notice will offer a comprehensive account of the pilot program’s structure. However, preliminary insights suggest:

– The pilot program is set to commence in the early stages of 2024.
– It will cater exclusively to H-1B principal applicants.
– Participation will be open only to nationals from countries exempted from reciprocity fees.
– India is listed among the nations eligible to participate in this pilot initiative.
– The program will incorporate eligibility prerequisites analogous to those set for the interview waiver program.
– The pilot is designed to accommodate a maximum of 20,000 applicants.
– Participation in the program is entirely voluntary.

The pilot’s debut marks a restricted initial phase, aiming to evaluate the operational effectiveness of the stateside renewal procedure. Expressing robust commitment, DOS intends to broaden the scope of this program post the pilot’s launch, once any operational complexities are identified and resolved.

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at for more information.