H1B employees can now renew their work visas in US, but their spouses can't. Here's why | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  H1B employees can now renew their work visas in US, but their spouses can't. Here's why
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H1B employees can now renew their work visas in US, but their spouses can't. Here's why

Domestic renewal is meant for H1B visa holders only. An official said, “So, the idea is for a visa to be mailed from the United States to us in Washington. We print the visa and process the visa, put it in the passport and send it back to someone in the United States”

H1B employees can now renew their work visas in US, but their spouses can'tPremium
H1B employees can now renew their work visas in US, but their spouses can't

The United States began its pilot programme for domestic renewal of certain categories of work visas this month. But though H1B employees can renew their visas without leaving the country, their spouses can't.  

4 things to know about H-1B visa renewal pilot programme:

  • Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department officials announced a limited rollout of the H-1B domestic visa renewal pilot, allowing a restricted 20,000 participants to renew their visas. 
  • Under this program, applicants are required to mail their visas to the State Department and are prohibited from traveling outside the U.S. 
  • The selection process for the initial 20,000 candidates has not been disclosed. 
  • The stateside visa renewal pilot program is one of multiple measures the State Department is looking to add or continue with the aim of driving down wait times for travel to the US.

"We're very excited about it. We're starting small with a pilot of 20,000 cases in December, January and February and we look forward to opening that to more categories of workers living in the United States in the rest of 2024," last week, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Julie Stufft said, as quoted by Bloomberg Law.

Stufft said there will be a federal register notice, which is the first official notice of this coming out very soon, and that will describe all of the steps that need to be taken and who is eligible to apply in the first tranche and lay out those instructions.

‘Meant for work visas only’

Stufft also mentioned that for now the programme is specifically meant for work visas, "This is an existing regulation that was allowed that we just have not used in about 20 years. These are work visas. It is intended for people who are living long-term in the US but want to renew their visa without going back overseas." 

Can dependent visas be included in the programme?

On whether the program can include dependents, she said, “We really need to get proof of concept that it works before we can extend it to a larger group. This is a huge change for folks who live here and previously would have had to leave the United States."

(With agency inputs)

 

 

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 12:43 PM IST
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