Since the State Department recently announced the end of its visa revalidation program, many have been confused about what this means.
If you do not plan to leave the United States, this change does not affect you. Specifically:
Who is not impacted: If you are in a work-authorized nonimmigrant category like H-1B or L-1 or others, or you are a spouse or child of someone in one of those categories, and you do not travel outside the United States, nothing has changed for you. When your current admission, as reflected on your I-94 card (either a white card you were given when you entered the U.S. or a slip of paper from the bottom of a Notice of Action you received from Citizenship & Immigration Services or Immigration & Naturalization Service) expires, you will apply to Citizenship & Immigration Services to have it extended, if you are eligible. You do not need to leave the United States to do this.
Who is impacted: If you are in one of the affected nonimmigrant classifications (C, E, H, I, L, O and P) and you travel outside the United States, you will no longer have the option, after July 16, 2004, of asking the State Department to renew your visa stamp here in the United States. Instead, you will have to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States to get a new visa stamp.
Those nonimmigrants who routinely travel outside the United States should take special note of this change, and consult your attorney as to its impact.