The US Department of State (DOS) has initiated a pilot program in which visas will be renewed for certain non-immigrant workers within the nation.
Under the new pilot program, eligible applicants will have to apply through special DOS portals that will operate closer to the start date. The DOS portal first requires a self-guided assessment to determine eligibility before the applicant pays the $205 non-refundable application fee required to complete the standard form DS-160 Non-immigrant Visa Application. All fees must be paid online through a debit or credit card.
As the application slots are limited, the demand for this pilot program is expected to be very high. So, it will be important to be ready with preparation to avail this benefit. Application filing slots will be made available every Monday starting from January 29th to February 26th.
It is to be noted that DOS will only accept up to 4,000 applications per week. Once the limit is reached, then the application website will be closed and it will be reopened on the next available date. After paying the fee online, applicants have to submit their passports along with the supporting documents.
* Completed and electronically filed Form DS-160
* One recent passport-size photograph
* Passport with at least six months validity beyond the visa application date. It should contain at least one blank, unmarked page;
* A copy of the applicant’s valid, unexpired USCIS H-1B petition approval, Form I-797;
* A copy of the applicant’s valid, unexpired Form I-94 arrival record.
Once the DOS receives these documents, they will be assessed. If the applicant is ineligible then the application will be returned but not the fee. If the application is incomplete or if the DOS feels the applicant is ineligible, or if any additional screening is necessary, then it will be denied. If the application is denied, the foreign national must apply for visa renewal at the US consulate abroad by filing a new Form DS-160 application and paying a new application fee.