The United States Department of State plans to allow certain non-immigrant workers to apply to renew their visas from within the country. More specifically, this pilot program is intended to help IT workers who possess H-1B visas. Read on to discover what this domestic visa renewal for IT workers will entail and how a seasoned work authorization permit lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you take advantage of this program.
What is an H-1B visa?
First things first, an H-1B visa is a type of non-immigrant work visa that is designated for individuals seeking temporary, specialty jobs within the United States. Such jobs generally require a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent education level as a start, and they are described as “requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor.” With that being said, IT workers are eligible for H-1B visas.
And so, IT workers on the H-1B visa must have a United States employer who is eligible to sponsor them. In addition, this employer must prove that they are offering a temporary role in IT that requires specialized knowledge and that the applicant meets the education level required for this offered role.
What will the domestic visa renewal for IT workers entail?
Notably, the H-1B visa may last for two three-year periods. And up until recently, IT workers were required to leave the United States in order to apply for the renewal of their H-1B visa. Meaning, these non-immigrant workers would have to leave to their home country every three years in the hope of being accepted into the United States to work once more.
But now, domestic renewal of these H-1B visas will be allowed. Meaning, IT workers can remain in the United States while they are reapplying to work in the country. Of note, this domestic renewal process once existed, but was suspended in 2004 after Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act in 2002. This is when the United States Department of State believed for it to be easier to collect biometric information at the United States embassies and consulates. But now, the department holds that the domestic capacity for the collection of biometric information has increased.
The hope with this new system is that both non-immigrant workers and their sponsoring employers alike will gain more job security. Hopefully, if this pilot program is a success, this opportunity will extend to other visa types.
For more information on this domestic visa renewal process and how you can participate in it, then you must reach out to a competent family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI. We look forward to collaborating with you.