On January 29, 2024, the Department of State’s stateside visa pilot renewal program began accepting DS-160s for qualifying individuals seeking to renew their existing H-1B visas while they are in the United States. As discussed in our previous blog post about this new program, the program allows individuals in the United States who are renewing an H-1B visa issued by US consular sections in Canada between 1/1/2020 and 4/1/2023 or one issued by US consular sections in India from 2/1/2021 and 9/30/2021 to do so online through the Department’s CEAC website rather than having to travel outside the US to obtain the visa.
Under the pilot program, each week for five weeks the Department will release 4000 application slots—2000 for applicants whose most recent H-1B visa were issued in Canada, and 2000 for those whose most recent H-1B visas were issued in India. If all designated slots are filled before the next week’s allotment becomes available, the Department will lock the portal until the next group is released. Applications can be submitted online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/domestic-renewal.html, where you can also find program FAQs published by the Department of State.
The first group of application slots was released on Monday, January 29. Later groups will be released on February 5, February 12, February 19, and February 26. The program will end when all available slots are filled or on April 1, 2024, whichever happens first.