H-1B visa pilot program only for Indians and Canadians, details out - Hindustan Times
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US releases H-1B visa pilot program eligibility, dates and application details; open to only Indians and Canadians

Dec 21, 2023 10:54 AM IST

Read all details about H-1B Visa Renewal Pilot Program Application that opens from January 29 to April 1, 2024

The US authorities have now made public the eligibility and application details details of its pilot program to resume renewal of H-1B nonimmigrant visas. The whole process is expected to start from January 2024 onwards for a sample of 20,000 individuals. According to the eligibility details the initial program is only open to Indians and Canadians.

H-1B Visa Renewal Pilot Program Application opens from January 29 to April 1, 2024
H-1B Visa Renewal Pilot Program Application opens from January 29 to April 1, 2024

Access the H-1B pilot program US government circular here

H-1B Pilot Program: Dates of application

Department of State will be accepting application for the H-1B pilot program from January 29 to April 1, 2024. The goal of this pilot is to test the Department’s technical and operational ability to resume domestic visa renewals. The department has set a deadline of midnight April 15, 2024 for written comments and related materials.

Eligible applicants will be expected to apply online during the application window for 3 months

Also Read: US hits H1B visa limit for 2024, here's what's next for businesses and foreign workers

H-1B Pilot Program: Indians to get 2000 application slots per week

Every week, the Department will open around 4,000 application slots for H-1B visa renewals. Of these, about 2,000 slots are reserved for applicants who received their most recent H-1B visas from Mission Canada, and another 2,000 slots are for those whose visas were issued by Mission India. These slots will be available on the following dates:

January 29

February 5

February 12

February 19

February 26

So, if your last H-1B visa was issued by Mission India, you can apply for a renewal in one of these weekly slots.

H-1B Pilot Program: Where to apply

The applications can be posted on: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/domestic-renewal.html

A summary of this rule is also available at www.regulations.gov by searching for “1400-AF79” from the home page.

Applicants can also write to - Jami Thompson, Senior Regulatory Coordinator, Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; email: VisaRegs@state.gov

H-1B Pilot Program: Eligibility Criteria

To renew an H-1B visa under the pilot program, applicants must meet below mentioned criteria:

Only H-1B visa renewals are processed; no other visa types are included in the pilot phase.

The H-1B visa to be renewed must have been issued by Mission Canada between January 1, 2020, and April 1, 2023, or by Mission India from February 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021.

Applicants should not be subject to a nonimmigrant visa issuance fee, commonly known as a reciprocity fee.

Eligibility for a waiver of the in-person interview is required.

Applicants must have previously submitted ten fingerprints to the Department for a past visa application.

The prior visa must not have a “clearance received” annotation.

Applicants cannot have a visa ineligibility that requires a waiver for issuance.

Applicants must have an approved and unexpired H-1B petition.

The applicant's most recent admission to the U.S. must have been in H-1B status.

Applicants must be currently maintaining H-1B status in the United States.

The period of authorized admission in H-1B status should not have expired.

Applicants must intend to reenter the U.S. in H-1B status after a temporary period abroad.

H-1B pilot program: Fees

Applicants must pay the required $205.00 non-refundable and non-transferable MRV fee via the online portal.

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