H and L Visa Renewals IN the US Announced
A pilot program from the U.S. Department of State will begin later this year, allowing domestic renewal of H-1B and L visa holders who qualify and are currently required to travel to have their documents renewed. The option to renew visas within the United States was discontinued in 2004. Stateside renewal benefits include reducing the workload of U.S. consular offices abroad. In addition, it eliminates the need for qualifying visa holders to travel. During the pandemic, it was incredibly difficult for these visa holders to exit the U.S. and return. From that experience, the discussion began to reconsider stateside renewal.
By offering domestic renewal of H-1B and L visas, U.S. consular offices in countries with the biggest source of H-1B holders are freed up to address ongoing backlogs. Additionally, employers are not affected when a visa holder must leave the country and return.
We will continue to monitor further announcements and inform our clients of the best approach to take advantage of this pilot program.