• Posts by Stephen R. Pattison
    Posts by Stephen R. Pattison
    Special Counsel

    Steve Pattison is nationally recognized in US immigration law, Department of State policy and procedures, and consular operations, and counsels clients on immigration and labor and employment law matters. Steve practiced ...

Time 2 Minute Read

On January 29, 2024, the Department of State’s stateside visa pilot renewal program began accepting DS-160s for qualifying individuals seeking to renew their existing H-1B visas while they are in the United States.  As discussed in our previous blog post about this new program, the program allows individuals in the United States who are renewing an H-1B visa issued by US consular sections in Canada between 1/1/2020 and 4/1/2023 or one issued by US consular sections in India from 2/1/2021 and 9/30/2021 to do so online through the Department’s CEAC website rather than having to travel outside the US to obtain the visa. 

Time 2 Minute Read

On December 21, the Department of State announced changes to the power consular officers have to waive personal visa interviews for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants. Under the new guidelines, will remain in place indefinitely, consular officers are now authorized to waive personal visa interviews for

  • First-time applications: H-2 temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers;
  • Other applications – applicants with a previously approved visa: NIV applicants applying in any other NIV category who were previously issued a nonimmigrant visa in any classification if the applicant is applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date may have their interview waived at the discretion of the consular officer, unless the only prior visa was a B visitor/business visa. 
Time 3 Minute Read

This is a follow up to our prior post on Domestic Visa Processing.

The Department of State has officially released the details of the long-anticipated domestic visa processing pilot program. The pilot program will be open starting on January 29, 2024, and will accept up to 20,000 applications, with applications accepted on a rolling basis. The system is set up to release approximately 4,000 application slots each week for the first 6 weeks of the program starting Monday, January 29, 2024. Once the weekly limit is reached, the system will be locked until the next set of slots are released following next week. The system will be open until April 1, 2024, or until all application slots are used, whichever comes first.

Time 1 Minute Read

After a 20+ year hiatus in domestic visa processing, the Department of State is launching a pilot program to resume limited state-side processing of visa renewals in early 2024. According to a recent State Department announcement, the new pilot program will allow some individuals in the U.S. with visas to renew those visas without leaving the country or attending an interview at a U.S. Embassy or consulate outside the United States.


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