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Visa Revalidation Process Will Be Terminated by the Department of State

By William J. Manning
  • June 23, 2004

The United States Department of State has announced it is ending its program for visa revalidation for temporary nonimmigrants as of July 16, 2004. This information was announced in Public Notice 4747 from the Department of State and was reported at 69 Federal Register 35121 on June 23, 2004. The revalidation program, originally designed to provide nonimmigrant services to foreign government officials, was eventually extended to include reissuance opportunities for several other classes of visa holders, i.e., C, E, H, I, L, O, and P. The service allowed these classes to renew their visas in the U.S., thus relieving them of the burden of traveling back to their home countries to do so. The termination of the program will not affect the revalidation service for qualifying diplomatic and official visas in Washington, DC, but only visa classes C, E, H, I, L, O, and P. 

While the State Department realizes that this decision to end business-related visa revalidation will be an inconvenience to the international business community, the DOS is unable to overcome the lack of capacity domestically to continue the service. Specifically, the DOS is not able to obtain the biometric identifiers all visas must contain as of October 26, 2004. To lessen the inconveniences that inevitably will come with this termination, the State Department will implement a priority basis for assisting applicants of the revalidation process.

Only applications received at the St. Louis acceptance facility by the July 16, 2004 deadline will be eligible for revalidation. An exception to the July 16 date will be made for pending applications for which additional information has been requested under INA Section 221(g) as of that date. The State Department has stressed that applicants should apply as soon as possible in their home countries, and reminds applicants that it is imperative to schedule interview appointments before traveling.

Although the State Department has said it has no plans to reinstate the revalidation process, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) , together with other business groups, plans to put pressure on the DOS to revive the process as soon as possible. Despite this planned effort, the AILA is not optimistic about the return of the process in the near future.  

©2004 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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