The State Department is preparing to launch a pilot program that would allow some nonimmigrant visa holders to renew their visas domestically rather than at visa-processing posts abroad, according to a Bloomberg Law article published Thursday.

Key Points:

  • Details about when the program will be launched are not available, but Julie Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, told Bloomberg Law that domestic renewals would be available to H and L visa holders and could eventually be expanded to other categories.
  • Immigration organizations have pushed for domestic visa renewals, saying they would not only ease the renewal process but also reduce the workload of visa-processing posts abroad, many of which are still grappling with COVID-related backlogs.

Background: Domestic visa renewals have not been available since 2004. The State Department indicated last year that it was considering implementing domestic renewals again, but provided few details. Stufft told Bloomberg Law that part of the challenge is establishing a new consular division in Washington, DC, which she called “not a small endeavor.”

BAL Analysis: While domestic visa renewals would significantly ease the renewal process and help reduce backlogs, details about the program’s implementation are not available at this point. 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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