US Launches H-1B Visa Pilot Program Exclusive to Indians and Canadians - Travel News
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H1-B Visa
25 Dec

US Launches H-1B Visa Pilot Program Exclusive to Indians and Canadians

US officials have officially unveiled the details of the H-1B non-immigrant visa renewal pilot program, exclusively open to individuals from India and Canada. Set to commence in January 2024, the program will initiate with a quota of 20,000 individuals, with specific eligibility criteria outlined for applicants from the mentioned countries.

Application Dates for H-1B Pilot Program

From January 29 to April 1, 2024, the Department of State will accept applications for the H-1B pilot program, designed to assess the Department’s capacity to resume domestic visa renewals. Eligible candidates must submit online applications within the three-month application window, with a deadline for written comments and related materials set for midnight on April 15, 2024.

H-1B Pilot Program: Weekly Slots for Indians

The Department will allocate approximately 4,000 application slots on a weekly basis for H-1B visa renewals. Within this allocation, 2,000 slots are reserved for applicants with the latest H-1B visas issued by Mission Canada, and another 2,000 slots are specifically designated for individuals whose visas were granted by Mission India.

These slots will be available on the following dates:

  • January 29
  • February 5
  • February 12
  • February 19
  • February 26

Applicants with the most recent H-1B visa issued by Mission India can apply for renewal during these weekly slots.

H-1B Pilot Program: Application Submission Details

Applicants can submit their applications at

Applicants can find the summary of this rule at by searching for “1400-AF79” from the home page.

Additionally, applicants can contact Jami Thompson, Senior Regulatory Coordinator, Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State, via email at [email protected].

H-1B Pilot Program: Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for H-1B visa renewal through the pilot program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Only H-1B visa renewals will be processed during the pilot phase; other visa types are excluded.
  • The H-1B visa to be renewed must have been issued by Mission Canada between January 1, 2020, and April 1, 2023, or by Mission India from February 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021.
  • Applicants should not be subject to a non-immigrant visa issuance fee (reciprocity fee).
  • Eligibility for a waiver of the in-person interview is a prerequisite.
  • Applicants must have previously submitted ten fingerprints to the Department as part of a prior visa application.
  • The prior visa must not bear a ‘clearance received’ annotation.
  • Applicants cannot possess a visa ineligibility requiring a waiver for issuance.
  • Applicants must hold an approved and unexpired H-1B petition.
  • The applicant’s most recent entry to the US must have been under H-1B status.
  • Applicants are obligated to currently maintain H-1B status in the United States.
  • The period of authorized admission in H-1B status should not be expired.
  • Applicants must express an intention to reenter the US in H-1B status after a temporary period abroad.

H-1B Pilot Program: Fees

Applicants are required to pay the $205.00 non-refundable and non-transferable MRV fee through the online portal.