President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed plans to streamline the process for Indian nationals to live and work in the United States following a bilateral meeting last week.

Key Points:

  • In a joint statement, Biden and Modi both supported an announcement by the U.S. State Department that it would launch a pilot to adjudicate domestic renewals of certain petition-based temporary work visas, including for Indian nationals, later this year.
  • State Department officials said they plan to implement this program for an expanded pool of H-1B and L visa holders in 2024 and eventually broaden it to include other visa categories.
  • The Department will publish a Federal Register notice regarding the domestic renewal pilot program, including eligibility requirements and program details, about a month before the pilot’s launch.

Additional Information: While recognizing steps taken to streamline processing of Indian visa applications, Biden and Modi acknowledged the need to further expedite this process. In their meeting, both leaders directed officials to identify additional ways to facilitate travel for business, tourism and professional purposes between the two countries.

BAL Analysis: The domestic visa renewal pilot may simplify the visa renewal process for some Indian nationals; however, details regarding the pilot launch date and eligibility requirements are not available at this time. Until a pilot is launched and eligibility requirements are known, all foreign nationals in the United States who require a valid visa to reenter the country must renew their visas abroad. As a reminder, this is a pilot; not everyone in the United States in E, H, I, L, O and P status will be eligible to participate. Visa wait times and processing delays continue despite the State Department’s ongoing initiatives to improve processing, such as the expanded visa interview waiver program and increased consular staffing. BAL will continue following the matter and will provide information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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