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How to Apply for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal in the US – GUIDE

Many of you living in the US on an H1B Visa have been waiting to apply for the H1B Visa renewal within the US(also called domestic visa renewal). The wait is over, and you can apply for the H1B domestic visa renewal starting today.

In this article, we will cover all the details on how to apply for a domestic visa renewal for H1B holders living in the US, how to pay a fee, and the steps involved in the entire process, with screenshots, and common FAQs related to the same.

Background: H1B Visa Renewal within the US

US Department of State is running a pilot program to bring back US Visa stampings within the US, which used to exist many years ago. As part of the pilot program, they are allowing certain H1B visa holders to apply for their H1B visa renewal within the US.

Starting from today, January 29th, 2024, they are accepting the applications for domestic visa renewal for eligible H1B visa holders. For more info, you can read articles: H1B Visa Stamping in USA Pilot Program Details and Latest News on US Visa Stamping within USA.

Step by Step Guide to apply for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal

H1B Visa renewal, as part of this pilot program, within the US is not available to all H1B visa holders. For you to apply, you need to meet specific criteria. In the below sections, we will outline various steps you would need to follow to apply for H1B domestic visa renewal, including the requirements, documents checklist, and how it works.

Requirements to apply for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal

You must meet all the below requirements to apply for H1B domestic visa renewal as part of the pilot program:

  • Applicant must be planning to renew H1B Visa only. No other visa categories or H4 dependents are eligible for the pilot program.
  • Previous H1B Visa must be issued in Canada or India within the following dates:
    • Issued in Canada between January 1, 2020, through April 1, 2023
    • Issued in India between February 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021
  • Not subject to visa reciprocity fee. ( Note: there is no H1B reciprocity fee for citizens of India, China, Nigeria, or Canada. Check US Visa Reciprocity by Country)
  • Must be eligible for H1B Dropbox or interview waiver option
  • Must have submitted biometrics (ten fingerprints) in the previous US Visa application
  • The previous US visa does not have Clearance Received or Department Authorization annotation.
  • Your most recent entry to the US was on H1B Visa Status at a US port of entry.
  • Currently maintaining H1B Visa Status in the US ( read US Visa vs. Status Difference)
  • Have an H1B approval notice from USCIS that has not expired
  • Have an I-94 form (period of authorized admission) for H1B Status that has not expired.
  • Intend to re-enter or return to the US on H1B visa status after a short period abroad.
  • Does not have any visa ineligibility that requires a special waiver before the visa issuance. Check the US visa ineligibility list
  • You must have a valid passport for at least six months beyond the visa application date. It should also contain a blank, unmarked page to place the US Visa foil.

Step 1: Check H1B Pilot Eligibility with Navigator

The US Department of State has put together a very simple wizard or navigator that will take you through a set of questions to check your eligibility for the Pilot Program. The requirements that were initially outlined in the Federal Register have not changed, they are the same.

Click here to open the H1B Pilot Eligibility Navigator to check the eligibility.

They have used very simple Google Forms. Do not be confused by looking at the Google forms and thinking it is not legit. In fact, the Google Forms based navigator is legit.

Below is the screenshot of the Domestic Renewal of H1B Visa Pilot eligibility check navigator.

Domestic H1B Visa Renewal Navigator
Domestic H1B Visa Renewal Navigator

You should apply, only if you meet all the requirements and get the below confirmation message indicating you are eligible to apply. The confirmation message from the navigator is shown in the screenshot below.

Confirmation Message saying you can submit H1B Visa Domestic Visa Renewal for the Pilot
Confirmation Message saying you can submit H1B Visa Domestic Visa Renewal for the Pilot

Step 2: Complete DS-160 Form

If you are found eligible by meeting all the requirements for pilot program, you should proceed to complete the online non-immigrant visa application form, popularly called as Form DS-160.

Below is the screenshot of how to select U.S. Domestic when you are filling the DS-160 form

Select US Domestic while filling DS-160 Form
Select US Domestic while filling DS-160 Form

After you complete the DS-160 form, make sure you print a copy of the application submission confirmation at the end as PDF as you will need it later for submission.

Step 3: Create Login Account to Book Appointment

Depending on where your previous H1B Visa was issued, you will need to create an account on the respective US Visa Appointment Booking website.

  • If you previous H1B Visa was issued in India, you will need to create an account at https://www.usvisascheduling.com/en-US/ . You can check the Guide to Create USVisaScheduling.com Account.
  • If your previous H1B Visa was issued in Canada, you will need to create an account at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-us/niv/signup

As part of the account creation process, give your US residential address details and US phone numbers.

The below screenshots in upcoming sections are based on USVisaScheduling.com website for applicants with previous H1B Visa issued in India

Step 4: Create Application with “Washington DC” Location

After the basic profile information is completed on USVisaScheduling.com , you would need to create an application as part of the process. During the application creation process, you must select the “Embassy/Consulate/OFC” filed to “WASHINGTON DC”. Then for the option for “Post Visa Category” , select it as “Domestic renewal”. The system will automatically select Visa Class Tag field as “H1B Domestic Renewal”

Below is the screenshot of how the Visa Options would look like for H1B Domestic Renewal

Select Embassy as Washington DC for H1B Domestic Renewal
Select Embassy as Washington DC for H1B Domestic Renewal

After the above step, you will be asked a set of questions similar to the Domestic Visa renewal Eligibility check Google Form. These need to be answered accurately to get the Dropbox confirmation message.

Below is the screenshot of the very first question you would get that reads ” Are you currently maintaining H-1B Status within the United States?”.

Are you currently maintaining H1B Status within the United States
Are you currently maintaining H1B Status within the United States

Below are the list of other questions that will be asked as part of the questionnaire:

  • Was your most recent H1B Visa issued in India?
  • Was your recent H1B Visa issued with an issuance date between February 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021?
  • Do you have a passport valid for travel to the United States, which is valid for at least six months beyond the visa application date, and contains a blank, unmarked page for placement of visa foild?
  • Was your recent H1B Visa subject to a nonimmigrant visa issuance fee?
  • Was your most recent H1B Visa lost or stolen?
  • Does your prior H1B Visa include a “clearance received” annotation?
  • Do you have a copy of your valid I-797 petition for which you are applying?
  • Are you aware of any potential grounds for visa ineligibility that may apply to your application?

If you answer the above questions appropriately, you would get the confirmation message indicating that you qualify for the visa renewal pilot program in the US and you can submit the application with details.

Below is the screenshot of the confirmation message that

Confirmation message for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal in the US
Confirmation message for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal in the US

Step 5: Document Delivery Location, Pay Fee

After the confirmation, you would need to select the Document Delivery Location as “Premium Delivery” and enter the address where you want the passport to be delivered. It looks like in the below screenshot.

Document Delivery Option for US Visa Stamping within USA
Document Delivery Option for US Visa Stamping within USA

After that, you will get an option to make the payment of the Fee. You can choose to pay the fee with the option you like. If you do not get the slot for whatever reason due to high demand, you can re-use this for stamping in your home country. They mention it clearly on the payment screen.

One of our readers suggested to use an Indian credit card to pay fees which is faster and works well. Below is the screenshot of the Fee payment screen

US Visa Fee Payment Option for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal
US Visa Fee Payment Option for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal

Step 6: Book Appointment, Drop off Documents

After the fee payment is done, you will get an option to book an appointment. You must select “Washington DC” location for booking appointment date and time and print the appointment confirmation letter. You would need to go to a FedEx Location for documents submission on the date you booked.

As per the instructions, three days before your appointment date, the applicant will get an email with all the instructions on the document submission process. The email will also have a “Prepaid Courier Airway Bill”, which must be carried along for the document submission at a FedEx Location for submission.

Join Telegram Community Group to discuss and share insights on H1B Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot program.

Document Checklist for H1B Domestic Visa Renewal

Below is the list of mandatory documents you would need to submit for the H1B Domestic visa renewal:

  • Your H1B Domestic renewal Appointment confirmation letter
  • A printout of the DS–160, online nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page
  • Valid passport with a blank page and at least 6 months validity.
    • If your most recent H1B Visa is on a different passport, you must submit that as well.
  • Passport color photo with 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches) taken within the last 6 months as per Photo Guidelines by Dept of State
  • Copy of the applicant’s current H1B Approval notice, Form I–797, Notice of Action.
  • Copy of the applicant’s Form I–94, Arrival-Departure Record. Check How to get I-94 form Online
  • Copies of your three most recent pay stubs/ pay slips.

Step 7: Processing of H1B Renewal Application

All the documents submitted would be forwarded to the US Department of State office in Washington DC for processing and adjudication.

As per their estimate, it may take anywhere from six to eight weeks from the time the passport and other documents are received by the US Department of State to get a decision on the same.

You need to wait for 6 to 8 weeks to get your passport back, no premium processing or such options. If you want your passport urgently, you can get it back, but you would get a 221g Administrative Processing Refusal for the same. No fee will be refunded.

They may ask for additional documents as needed like Address proof.

You can check the Status of Application Online CEAC Tracker website

If you have applied for Domestic US Visa Renewal as part of H1B Pilot program, please add your case details anonymously at Domestic Visa(H1B Pilot) Renewal USA – Tracker. It will give you an idea of the community timelines and help you predict your timelines.

Step 8: Passport with Issued Visa returned

If all goes well, then your passport along with your issued H1B Visa will be returned via FedEx to the location you have chosen as part of the courier document delivery location.

If for some reason, they cannot approve and issue H1B Visa to you, you would be issued a 221(g) administrative processing refusal letter indicating that you would need reapply for Visa stamping at a Consulate in your home country or other location. They will not refund the fee.

Common FAQs

Can I expedite the processing of H1B Domestic Visa Renewal?

There is no option to expedite the application processing. You must wait for 6 to 8 weeks to get a decision and get your passport

Is there a lottery for getting the H1B Visa Domestic renewal Slots to Book Appointment?

No, it is on a first come first serve basis, there is no lottery as such for issuance of slots for the pilot program

What has been your experience booking the appointment for the H1B Visa Renewal within the US? Share your experiences, thoughts in comments section below.


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  1. Hello,

    Do you need to submit the documents at Fedex location at the time of the appointment, or should the documents reach USCIS by the appointment time?

  2. Hi! I followed all the correct steps except my DS160 has “New Delhi” as the location. At the time of filling the form I was not aware of this pilot program. I now have the Washington DC appointment booked for March 29th. How do I correct this error?

    • I have a similar question. I already paid the fees by selecting “New Delhi” but haven’t scheduled an appointment yet. Can I start a new application and use the payment receipt to book the Washington DC center?
      Appreciate the help

  3. How long is it taking to get the visa stamped in case of Canada process? It’s been 2 weeks since they received my passport but no status update yet.

    • Hi Viru,
      Submitted my docs to Fedex on 15th Feb 2024, received passport back yesterday……visa issue date stamped as 5th March, so the extra days from 5th March till yesterday was for document shipping.

      • Did you get any updates anywhere to know whether your passport was stamped successfully until you received it?

        I got an email today saying that I am getting my passport in 2 more days but I have no confirmation what happened with the stamping application.

  4. I dont see the payment screen after clicking on the Update button on Document Delivery Options screen. Clicking on Update takes me back to Manage Dependents screen. Am i missing anything? I have not submitted my DS160 yet not sure if that is a problem.

  5. Has anyone received success with this process. I am finding the following pre-requisite conflicting / unattainable:

    Issued in India between February 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021

    We were still in covid era during this timeframe, people were not travelling and moreover consulates were hardly operational. So how will anyone meet this criteria ?

    Am I missing something ?

    • @Kirti……..Visas were indeed issued during this period with a NIE waiver……I came to the US with such a NIE thru the Chennai consulate.

      • Thanks George for prompt response. I am sure there were some visas issues but there were exceptions ( like NIE in your case) . Anyways, were you able to get stamping process initiated via domestic visa process ?

    • They purposely chose that timeframe since the number of people who previously renewed in that time frame are the least probably. This is pilot so they are trying to iron out the kinks in process with lower number of applications.

      In the future they will expand to other time slot renewals. I got mine renewed in Feb 2021 since I travelled to India just before it hit India very bad and was able to return to US without the travel ban. I saw many people next to me doing VISA renewals in real time. You might think there are less people who renewed in this time slot but I feel like it might still be a lot of people.

  6. Does anybody have a sample visa appointment confirmation letter? I am not able to find it anywhere? I only have the courier-in authorization certificate and the instructions page with bar codes?

    Someone please help me where to find it.


  7. I received my passport today(Mar 1st) with issuance date 23rd Feb . Validity was given as per your I-94 expiry or your H1b expiry . But there is annotation printed for me


    Which I think is , ” Not valid till 10 days prior to petition validity date. I am not exactly sure what it means …

    Does any one have this , when renewed via US domestic visa Renewal .

  8. submitted for US domestic on 9th feb, today i got an email that fedex label created from India Renewables Outbound (US Visa) Tracking.

    Looks like my passport might be coming back with or without stamping , no clue. The tracker never worked.

    anyone else in same boat ?

    • The tracker worked for me … if you did not get any other emails / communication I am pretty sure it will be approved /stamped .

      I received my passport 2 days after that email … it is 2 day fedex or may be even 1 day depending on where you live .

      However I have annotation printed on my , I don’t think anything serious but just not able to understand what does it mean

      ” NOT valid until 10 DS prior to PET val date ”
      probably as in not valid until 10 days prior to petition validity date.

      • Yes very confusing, may be they are saying it will take 10 days to update all the servers about this approval, so entry is not allowed until then.

        For example- if the approval date is 27 Feb 2024 ti 10 Oct 2026. A person is not allowed to enter to US till 7th March 2024 using the new Visa stamped with the above-mentioned date.
        It is just my guess, as I also got the same annotation.

    • Hi Srikanth,

      I too got an email from India Renewables Outbound (US Visa) Tracking with a Fedex tracking number, but the my visa status checker athttps://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx still says “Your search did not return any data” when input with all the details…….are they not updating any visa approval status changes?

      • Hi George ,
        I received the same email today. I submitted my passport on Feb 23 and package was delivered on Feb 27 . I received an email today India Renewables Outbound as well.I get the feeling my application was considered not eligible. My I94 from the CBP website had expired but I did have a valid I797. So I guess that did not work out. I was also on a F1 visa first then became H1B , but my most recent stamp in the US when I entered it was H1B. So I am not sure which of the above criteria made me ineligible. How about you ?

  9. Hi,
    I have applied through the Canada process. My documents were delivered by USPS yesterday (2/27) but till now I have not received any confirmation email from USVISA-INFO. There is no update in my status either. How long does it take to get confirmation email? Is there any customer service number we can call?

    • I also applied through Canada process( meaning my previous stamping was done in Ottawa) . I sent my documents on2/26 , I received an email from Consulate on 3/1 saying they received the document. On 3/5 they sent me an email asking for a digital photograph, I sent it the same day. They sent an acknowledgement on 3/8 received “. On 3/13 they sent an email saying they released my documents to USPS , my passport was delivered on 3/16

  10. My online i94 says admit till June 2023, which is past date. The i797 has attached i94 valid till June 2026. Should I apply for the h1 domestic renewal?

  11. Hi,

    I laid off in jan 5 th and my employer revoked my h1 on the same day, now im on grace period. Last week i got another job and filled h1 in premium processing. Now my question is if i applied for domestic visa processing they are asking for 3 pay checks which i cannot get by the last date of the appointment.

    Please suggest i can submit with any other document or letter to support this

  12. Hello,

    I sent my documents on 02/02 as per my appointment time and i haven’t received confirmation email for “document received”. On USA travel website, the status is ” Delivered to Post”.

    Anyone in the same boat?

    • @John, sent mine in last week and on the https://www.usvisascheduling.com site, it says “In Transit To Post” though I know it was delivered as per the Fedex tracking number.

      Have you checked the visa tracker at “https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx:……..what does the visa status say there?

    • Same boat, sent mine on Feb 9th and it says “Delivered to Post”. CEAC visa tracker doesn’t return any data. Not sure what to do next.

  13. on 2/252024 -> how to check if slots still available for this program, if there are no slots, visa can’t be refunded we have to use within year.

  14. Hi All,

    My DS-160 starts with AA00D. However when I’m trying to create a new Application under usvisascheduling.com , I get an error saying – “DS-160 format is not recognized. It should be ‘AA005’, ….AA009, AA00A, AA00B, AA00C followed by 5 characters.”
    Does anyone come across such issue. if so, what’s the solution to fix this!

    Appreciate your help.

  15. I am in the same boat as you Sneh. I just finished the application & confused as you are. I called the Support & they said the Instructions page with the barcode is the Appointment Confirmation letter, I was surprised to hear that info. I couldn’t find a place to book appointment as well, I am thinking that the appointment slots are even relevant. On the page, all I am seeing is Current Status -Send Documents after paying all the fee’s.

    • Hi,
      For CANADA slot, you don’t need to book an appointment. Once you get the courier label for USPS. Collect the documents and send it to the mentioned address in USPS.
      Note: This is a PO box and don’t worry about the “Available for Pickup” status while tracking in USPS.

  16. I took the appointment for 02/23/2024 at 3:00 PM. However, I have yet not received the email with FEDEX label. I have opened the case with VFS Global but I don’t think I will get the timely response.
    Is there a way to reach out to them and ask them to resend the email or download the FEDEX label?

    • Received the email with FedEx label 30 hours prior to appointment.
      If anyone is facing any issue then check this page to see the different options to reach out to them:

      I was able to connect to them three times over phone call with 10-15 mins wait.

  17. I am stuck at the final step of document submission- I have earlier stamping from Canada. I submitted DS 160 and paid fees, and then got an email with courier instructions (during second opening slot). However, I do not see appointment date to select, or not sure when was my deadline. In the required documents, there is a mention of Appointment confirmation letter- how do I get this? Moreover, the label I got in the instruction is for USPS with destination address of VA and not FedEx with WA address?
    Anyone who has similar experience or submitted on this address? Please guide.
    Or any particular customer service contact# will be helpful.

    • Hi,
      For CANADA slot, you don’t need to book an appointment. Once you get the courier label for USPS. Collect the documents and send it to the mentioned address in USPS.
      Note: This is a PO box and don’t worry about the “Available for Pickup” status while tracking in USPS.

    • My appointment was on 02/01 and I see the same status when I check through https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx. But from https://www.usvisascheduling.com/en-US/ I can see a status that says Passport is Delivered to Post

    • I even received my passport back with the visa stamping done today. Status never showed anything other than “Your search did not return any data”.

        • I went through the Canada process, which does not have an appointment date system.

          29 Jan: Submitted application, paid fees.
          29 Jan: Mailed the documents via USPS label provided.
          31 Jan: Documents delivered by USPS.
          31 Jan: Email confirmation from donotreply@usvisa-info.com (The GDIT Visa Appointment and Information Service Team) that documents were received.
          14 Feb: Email confirmation of “documents released” with USPS tracking number. No information about Visa was approved.
          16 Feb: USPS tracking actually received the package.
          20 Feb: USPS delivered package – signature required. The flat rate envelope had my passport, a note on a small sheet saying general legal stuff, and the photograph I had sent (I guess they just scanned it and returned it back). Passport had the approved visa stamped.

          • Hello White Pawn,

            I submitted teh documents, and where delivered by USPS on 22nd Feb. However, as of today, 23rd I haven’t received any email confirmation, and the status is not updated in my account. The CEAC site still shows no data returned error. I called the GDIt visa number, and they are only asking to check CEAC site.

          • Sneh, I’d say give it another day or two. I am guessing the volumes of applications they are receiving daily have surged since when I sent mine out on the very first day the program started. I would just hang tight if I were you. I know it makes you anxious. I was anxious myself while I was waiting – especially because my current visa stamp was expiring this month. So I was cutting it really close on the required condition that the last stamp must still be valid. But there isn’t really anything one can do besides wait, so that’s what I did.

            As per my experience, the CEAC website is useless. So far there is no evidence of the data behind it being updated for this pilot program. And I doubt calling anyone is going to help because their instructions clearly state they are not going to respond to any queries before the official processing time (6-8 weeks?) has passed since your application.

  18. Hello,

    How to retrieve the H1B Domestic renewal Appointment confirmation letter? I have DS 160 confirmation, and courier-in instruction page, payment success email.
    I did not get any option to reserve any slot, just after payment recieved an email with mailing instructions.

  19. What is the customer service contact#?
    I am unable to pay the amount after selecting the option from Payment Type drop-down. I raised a request from the same portal but no response.

  20. I selected the Payment Type from the drop-down and clicked on Submit button. I am getting “The given key was not present in the dictionary.” error. Anyone else getting this error?
    I even raised a ticket under Feedback/Request but no response yet. I created the application on 02/07.
    Any suggestions?

  21. For US Domestic VISA documents submission, wrt form I-94
    Should I use the one downloaded from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home or from I-797, provided my I-94 on the above website expired in SEP-2023 and the one on form I-797 is valid till 2026. I hope the later is true. But, I need thoughts from folks like You.

  22. Hi,

    Last time USCIS issued me I-797B and not I-797A, so I don’t have an I-94 attached to the I-797B. Also, when I entered US last time, the port of entry officer used my visa stamp for entry which was from previous petition and expired in Oct 2023. So, my current I-94 shows “Admit Until Date” as Oct 2023. With all this, should I still submit docs for this domestic visa renewal program? I have a date of Feb 9th to submit docs.

  23. I reserved a slot for Feb 9 and I am hoping to get an email with FEDEX label sometime today or tomorrow.

    anyone got their Fedex label and from which email id .

  24. After applying for this on 29th I received the fedex airway bill but today I am not seeing my appointment under the portal to download confirmation page. Anyone seeing the same? I see some technical error on that page: Index out of bounds.

  25. Hello group
    I hears that Canada tighted immigrations procedure, US also becomes strickt how then peoples from telangana fulfil abroad dream? No other place to go in career, what to do now?

    • Pruthvi,
      As far as US goes, there is nothing significant new in terms of rules. Just that the enforcements are more and fraudsters are getting exposed. Irrespective of where you go, you must follow the laws of the land.

    • Pruthvi,
      Just wanted to knock some sense in you. H1B program has been severely abused by the notorious dwellers from the “T” state. It is no surprise now that H1B denial rates have surged. Countless people have filed multiple petitions in last decade, citing false experiences. There have been countless cases where petitioners claimed to have an employment with companies that if fact never existed! The repercussions are merely the consequence of ill deeds committed by such miscreants. The current situation is reassuring as it clinically eliminates candidates with ulterior intentions to get in the US. The epicenter in my view is the futile pursuit of the “T” state residents to get into the US no mater what, even if it meant to wager things that matter the most. US has succeeded in bursting the ‘fake consultancy rackets’, yet a lot more needs to be done. Hope that the new government succeeds in guarding the country from the vermin. It would be worthwhile to recede and pursue other vocations rather than pinning hopes on illegally getting some petty jobs in US.

  26. Questions regarding DS160 for US-Domestic:

    – Home Address? -> Current US Address or India Address ?
    – Are you applying in the same country where the visa above is issued and is this country your principal country of residence?
    – Is it mandatory to Upload Photo in DS160 or we can just mail hard copy of it with application later?

    • PS,
      – Where you currently stay, which should be US Address
      – It is no as you are in the US.
      – Usually, you should if the system asks for it.

  27. I have India drop-box appointment in May. Can I cancel that appointment and use same fee receipt to book Domestic Visa Renewals appointment ?


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