The U.S Department of State has announced that it will be launching a pilot program later this year that will offer visa renewal options in the US for H and L nonimmigrant visa holders. This move is aimed at providing greater flexibility and convenience for nonimmigrants, who have faced challenges in renewing their visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions.
Currently, nonimmigrants must leave the country and attend an interview at a consulate abroad in order to renew their visas. Under the new pilot program, certain H-1B, H-4, L-1 and L-2 visa holders who are already in the US and seeking to renew their visas will be able to do so without having to leave the country. This will provide greater convenience and certainty for nonimmigrants who will no longer need to worry about the risks and uncertainties associated with international travel.
The pilot program is expected to begin later this year and will be available for a period of up to two years. During this time, the State Department and USCIS will monitor the program and assess its effectiveness, with the goal of determining whether it should be extended or expanded in the future.