It has long been a dream for Indian nationals to have their H1 visa renewal processed within the U.S., eliminating the need to travel to India for renewals. During Modi’s U.S. trip, this was announced in Jan, 2023.

Now, this initiative is taking flight as the pilot project begins, allowing a limited number of H-1B specialty occupation workers to renew their visas in the U.S. starting in January, as announced by State Department officials.

Initially, this option will be available to 20,000 temporary visa holders.

The launch of the H-1B domestic visa renewal pilot will be restricted to an initial group of 20,000 participants.

This choice enables these H-1B holders to renew their visas by mailing them to the State Department rather than traveling outside the U.S., navigating uncertain wait times for an appointment at a U.S. consular office before returning.

The selection process for the initial 20,000 candidates is yet to be detailed. How will this determination be made? Through a lottery?

Full details are expected to be published by the department next month.