The State Department recently announced that they will be establishing a pilot program for domestic visa renewal for certain visa holders. Follow along to find out who qualifies for this pilot program and how a proficient Lyndhurst employment immigration attorney at the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta can help determine your eligibility.
What visa holders qualify for the pilot domestic renewal program?
While the pilot program may be expanded to other temporary visa holders soon, it is starting with domestic visa renewal for H-1B visa holders and L-1 visa holders.
For one, H-1B visa holders are those who seek temporary employment for a United States employer in a job or field that requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Such specialty jobs tend to be in information technology, finance, mathematics, engineering, architecture, etc. Of note, the H-1B visa has a set duration of six years at most until it expires.
Then, L-1 visa holders are those who seek temporary employment for a United States employer in a job or field that requires expert knowledge. Such specialty jobs tend to fill an executive or managerial positions. Notably, the L-1 visa lasts for up to seven cumulative years before it expires.
What is the goal of this pilot program?
There was once a similar domestic renewal program set by the State Department. However, it was discontinued in 2004.
So currently, when an H-1B or L-1 visa expires, the visa holder is required to leave the United States and apply for renewal while abroad. They are then not able to reenter the United States until their renewal request gets approved.
As you can likely deduce, this method can get quite complicated, especially when one’s employment is involved. For one, foreign workers can get stuck abroad for months at a time. Undoubtedly, this disrupts their work and affects their wages. What’s more, this method can create a bottleneck effect in counselor offices.
With that being said, the pilot domestic renewal program has the following goals:
- Foreign workers will no longer waste their time and money traveling abroad to renew their employment visa.
- Foreign workers will no longer miss out on potential wages while traveling abroad to renew their employment visa.
- Sponsors of foreign workers will no longer have to sacrifice work productivity while waiting for workers to be allowed reentry into the United States.
- Consular offices will no longer be months behind on processing applications.
If you wish to participate in this pilot program, then you must communicate this with a talented Lyndhurst employment immigration attorney. Before your employment visa expires, it is wise to give us a call.