The U.S. Department of State (DOS) proposed to resume the renewal of limited U.S. visas after almost 20 years via a pilot program. Finally, DOS declared the eligibility criteria for the pilot program on December 21, 2023.
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What are the benefits of a stateside or domestic visa renewal?
A great benefit is the renewal of a non-immigrant visa, which enables you to travel internationally to the U.S. You can travel without the restriction of going to a U.S. consular post or embassy abroad, saving you time waiting for appointment availability or administrative processing timing.
Moreover, the consular post or embassy-issued visa is your ticket to present for admission to the U.S. Alternatively, the I-94 admission record issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) defines your period to stay and use the U.S. visa.
The visa is valid for entry to the U.S. as a uniform requirement for traveling internationally, except when a non-immigrant has to revalidate their visa. For example, suppose a non-immigrant only travels from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada for 30 days. In that case, they can re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa in their passport under automatic visa revalidation.
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When can I apply for domestic visa renewal under the Pilot?
You can apply for your domestic visa renewal from January 29, 2024, to April 1, 2024.
Is there any specific number of slots available for domestic visa renewal?
Yes, there are 20,000 slots per week available. DOS will release approximately 4,000 slots each week, including 2000 slots for Canadian applicants with H1-B visas issued most recently and 2,000 for Indian applicants with H-1B visas issued most recently.
Mark your calendars for the visa slots that will be released on the below dates:
● January 29
● February 5
● February 12
● February 19
● February 26
However, it is essential to note that the online portal will be locked down once the weekly slots are full until the following slots are released. If you were not selected, then you may apply on any of the remaining dates for submission. Additionally, the selection is based on a first-come, first-served approach, and the application period will end on April 1 unless all slots are filled earlier.
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