Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Visa Stamping by Mail in USA

By Dilip Patel

Dilip Patel


Happy New Year to all our readers. We have some welcome news to share on the immigration front relating to H-1B visa stamping and the temporary intent requirement for students.

On Dec. 21, 2023, the U.S. Department of State finally published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the greatly anticipated stateside visa renewal pilot will begin on Jan. 29, 2024, and end on April 1, 2024. If the pilot program works well, they plan to expand it. The pilot program is limited but some of our readers may be eligible as described in this article.

You may be eligible if you want to renew an H-1B visa, which was issued to you by the U.S. Consulate in Canada between Jan. 1, 2020, through April 1, 2023, or the U.S. Consulate in India with an issuance date from Feb. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021.

H-4 visas cannot be renewed through this pilot program. If your H-1B visa was not issued by those consulates during those dates, you cannot use the pilot process and would have to wait for it to be expanded.
Other requirements include:

The applications will be accepted only online starting on Jan. 29, 2024. Each week, the DOS will release approximately 2,000 application slots for those whose most recent H-1B visa was issued by the Consulate in and approximately 2,000 application slots for those whose most recent H-1B visa was issued by the Consulate in India. 

Applications will be submitted via this dedicated website -  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/domesticrenewal.html Once the weekly limits are reached, the portal will be locked until more spots are available. The portal will be closed when all 20,000 slots have been used up.

The process involves completing an online DS-160 Form and sending documents such as photo, passport (valid at least six months), the H-1B approval Notice and I-94 to a specific address.

Applications will be considered in the order they are received. No status on the application will be provided other than returning of the application, or issuance or refusal of the visa. Applicants will be able to check the status of their application via CEAC: https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx?App=NIV.

Once received, applications and passports will be assessed to determine if they are within the scope of the pilot program. Applications not in the scope of the program will be returned along with the passport. MRV fees will not be returned. Those that are within the scope will be forwarded for adjudication.

If an application is adjudicated but does not satisfy the scope of the pilot for any reason, it will result in a refusal under INA 221(g). The applicant may reapply by filing a new visa application at a consular post abroad with a new fee.
Issued visas, passports, and documents submitted will be returned to the applicant via USPS or a courier service.
The Notice in the Federal Register provides further information about the process.
Hopefully the program will be a success and then be opened up more broadly.

USCIS Issues Guidance on F and M Student Nonimmigrant Classifications
On Dec. 20, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update to its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the nonimmigrant student (F and M) classifications, including USCIS’ role in the adjudication of applications for employment authorization and change or reinstatement of status to F or M classifications.
One important and welcome update is it confirms that F and M students may be the beneficiary of a permanent labor certification application or immigrant visa petition and may still be able to demonstrate their intention to depart after a temporary period of stay. The relevant Chapter of the Policy Manual is available online at https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-2-part-f

Looking forward to more progress in 2024.

Dilip Patel of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a board-certified expert on immigration law, can be reached at (813) 222-1120 or email [email protected]

home • eventsbiz directorysubscribecontact us • content • newseditor's note • health
immigration • finance • MINDBODY/NUTRITION • movies • fashionbooks/getaways • IIFA 2014 • ART
astrologyyouth • motoring Festivals/places of worshipclassifiedsarchives • BLOG FACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook! Art