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Business News/ News / World/  Foreigners with H-1B visas including Indians don't need to leave the US for visa renewal - here's why
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Foreigners with H-1B visas including Indians don't need to leave the US for visa renewal - here's why

US visa reforms: The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affair has cleared the review of H-1B pilot program.

H-1B visa: White House clears pilot program. Premium
H-1B visa: White House clears pilot program.

The US State Department has approved the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) review of a pilot program that will enable 20,000 holders of H-1B visas to renew their visas without having to leave the nation, Hindustan Times reported. 

The pilot has passed the last regulatory hurdle before publication after receiving the OIRA green light. It will begin in January with 20,000 foreign workers as its initial target. 

The remaining information about the pilot program has not yet been released by the authorities; it will become available to the public upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register. It has been stated that the pilot program will only apply to foreign employees and not to their dependents. 

The pilot intends to introduce the eagerly anticipated reform for visa renewal, which all foreign workers must go through, according to a report published by Hindustan Times. 

As many H-1B workers are currently required to schedule an appointment at a US embassy or consular office for a visa stamp before returning to the country after traveling abroad, it also aims to reduce the wait times for consular services. 

Travel arrangements for H-1B workers and their employers have become more uncertain due to lengthy wait times for visa services in nations like India.

In January, a new pilot program will be launched by the US State Department that will enable a restricted number of holders of H-1B visas to renew their visas domestically. 

Those who are already in the United States as H-1B specialty occupation workers can apply for renewal by mail to the State Department. One of the program's key regulations is that participants are not allowed to leave the country while the application is being renewed, as per HT reports. 

However, it is still unclear that how the first 20,000 applicants for this program will be chosen. The State Department's larger goal of shortening the wait times for applications for travel to the United States includes this initiative. 

Reviving a rule that had been dormant for nearly two decades, this program is intended only for work visa renewals. Its goal is to help permanent residents of the United States who want to renew their work visas without going overseas.

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Published: 19 Dec 2023, 09:22 AM IST
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