In a recent interview with Bloomberg Law, a State Department official stated that the agency plans on starting a pilot program this year to permit temporary visa holders to renew their visas within the U.S. without the need to travel and apply at an embassy/consulate abroad.  This stateside visa renewal option is intended to be initially available to H and L visa holders and may eventually be expanded to other visa types. 

This stateside visa renewal program, which was previously available up until it was discontinued in Summer 2004, should hopefully provide more flexibility for foreign workers to travel abroad and return to the U.S., in addition to reducing visa bottlenecks at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad.