Updated January 31st, 2024 at 08:04 IST
BIG DEAL for IT Talents: US Launches 5-Week Pilot Program for H-1B Visa Renewals | Details Inside
The application period will cease when all available slots are filled or on April 1, 2024, whichever comes first.
Washington: The United States has kicked off a new five-week trial program that's a big deal for foreign tech folks. This program is all about making it easier for those on H-1B work visas to renew and stay in the country. H-1B visas are a hot ticket for U.S. companies wanting to bring in skilled workers, especially in tech. This visa attracts talent from places like India and China, and it's a key player in the tech sector's talent game.
Pilot Program Details: Application Process, Guidelines and More
Commencing on January 29 and scheduled to conclude on April 1, the pilot renewal program allows current H-1B visa holders to renew their visas within the U.S. before embarking on a temporary trip abroad. The announcement of this program was made during the historic State visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June of the previous year.
The State Department disclosed that the pilot program is voluntary and will accept applications from January 29, through April 1, or until all application slots are filled, whichever comes first. Notably, this marks the first time in almost two decades that a limited number of H-1B nonimmigrants can renew their visas from within the United States.
The program is structured to process approximately 4,000 applications each week, with 2,000 slots allocated for applicants whose previous H-1B visas were issued by U.S. diplomatic missions in Canada and another 2,000 for those whose prior visas were issued by U.S. embassies and consulates in India. To streamline the application process, slots will be released on specific dates: January 29, February 5, February 12, February 19, and February 26.
Applicants are advised to utilise the dedicated portal linked below during the specified dates, as applications will be handled on a first-received, first-processed basis until the weekly limit is reached. The State Department emphasises that individuals unable to apply on a particular date may try again on any of the remaining application dates during the entry period. “Applicants who are unable to apply on one application date may reattempt application on any of the remaining application dates during the entry period. The application period will close when all application slots are filled or on April 1, whichever comes first,” it said.
The application period will cease when all available slots are filled or on April 1, 2024, whichever comes first. The State Department assures applicants that the estimated processing time for their submissions will be six to eight weeks from the date their passports and other necessary documents are received.
First-Come First-Served Basis
The department has already underlined in its statement that all applications will be processed strictly on a first-received, first-processed basis. Individuals who do not meet the pilot program's requirements or choose not to participate can still pursue visa renewal at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas.
Published January 31st, 2024 at 08:04 IST
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