Law Office Of Michelle Wu LLC

DOS Plans to Restore Domestic Visa Renewals

Bloomberg Law reported that DOS plans to launch a pilot program later this year offering visa stamp renewal options in the U.S. for H-1B, L-1 visa holders and could eventually be expanded to other temporary visa holders. The report was based on Bloomberg Law’s interview with Julie Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services at DOS’ Bureau of Consular Affairs. Temporary visa holders are currently required to obtain visa stamps from U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, which can take an extended period of time and cause uncertainty of travel time and in returning to the U.S. due to the backlogs in many U.S. embassies and consulates. Restoring stateside visa renewals, which were discontinued in 2004, will allow visa stamp applicants to apply for a visa stamp with DOS within the U.S. and have a visa stamp in hand before traveling overseas, which, among other things, will give employers and their foreign employees more certainty for a date of the employees’ returning to their work in the U.S.