Dear Sophie: Is there a domestic pilot program for H-1B and L visa stamping?

Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is the founding father of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 World Regulation Consultants Awards’ “Regulation Agency of the 12 months in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Companies.” She connects folks with the companies and alternatives that develop their lives.

Extra posts by this contributor

Dear Sophie: Do I qualify for an E-1 dealer visa?
Dear Sophie: Will printed articles higher my odds of getting an O-1A or H-1B visa?


Right here’s one other version of “Dear Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at expertise corporations.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that permits folks everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

ClassyBuzz+ members obtain entry to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

I’m within the U.S. on an H-1B, which my employer not too long ago prolonged. Nonetheless, I don’t have an H-1B visa stamp in my passport as a result of I initially had a change of standing from F-1 STEM OPT.

It’s been greater than three years since I visited my household in India and I’d love to try this now, however I fear about how lengthy it should take to get my H-1B visa to return to the U.S.

How lengthy will it take to get an interview for an H-1B visa stamp? Am I eligible for a visa interview waiver? How do I get one? Can I do it from the U.S. this yr?

— Hungry for Dwelling

Dear Hungry,

I’m sorry to listen to you’ve been separated out of your family members for so lengthy. I actually admire your power and resilience.

We’re excited to share some long-awaited information that will aid you and others and present some context about acquiring a visa stamp or visa stamp renewal.

Many individuals who’ve renewed their visa or modified to a different visa class have delay touring overseas for concern of not with the ability to promptly return to the U.S. We nonetheless advise our shoppers who want visas to keep away from worldwide journey if doable as a result of acquiring a visa could be so dangerous. The state of affairs is sluggish to vary and the present establishment may even stay in impact after this March’s upcoming H-1B visa lottery.


Despite the fact that the U.S. Division of State (DoS) has carried out insurance policies to scale back the time it takes to acquire a visa stamp at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, delays proceed.

Nonetheless, there is a probability we might get a solution to acquire a visa with out worldwide journey later this yr.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Pilot program for visa stamp renewals within the U.S.

The DoS plans to run a pilot program later this yr that can enable H and L visa holders to resume the stamps of their passports whereas they’re in america. At present, visa holders should journey overseas to acquire a visa foil of their passports (usually nicknamed a “visa stamp”) from a U.S. embassy or consulate.

The DoS plans to arrange a new consular division in Washington, D.C. to start processing renewals for H and L visas later this yr, based on Bloomberg Regulation. Many individuals have been advocating for this for years. The DoS used to course of renewals for many classes, together with E, H, L and O visas, domestically till 2004, when nationwide safety legal guidelines started requiring biometric information assortment from visa candidates.

Since then, the DoS has required all visa candidates who undergo the change of standing course of within the U.S., besides for sure diplomatic and different visa candidates, get a visa stamp at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas.

Now, let me dive into your questions.

Ready instances for H-1B visa interviews

The DoS has a visa appointment wait times page that means that you can examine wait instances at U.S. embassies and consulates. The wait instances can differ relying on the place you’re in India, however they modify on a regular basis.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button