The US Department of State recently published a Final Rule regarding increases to certain non-immigrant visa application (NIV) processing fees, including Tourist, Student, and Work Visas; the revised fee for US visas takes effect today, May 30.
The aim of this increase is to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States for both immigrant and non-immigrant travellers.
US Visa Fee Increase Details
According to the Federal Register, the fees for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition-based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas, will increase from $160 to $185.
Meanwhile, certain petition-based non-immigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205. Lastly, the fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicant in a speciality occupation (E category) will increase from $205 to $315.
|Visa Type||Current Fee||New Fee (Effective May 30, 2023)|
|Visitor Visas for Business or Tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs)||$160||$185|
|Student and Exchange Visitor Visas||$160||$185|
|Petition-Based Nonimmigrant Visas for Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories)||$190||$205|
|Treaty Trader, Treaty Investor, and Treaty Applicants in a Specialty Occupation (E category)||$205||$315|
It is important to note here that applicants who paid for their visa application before May 30, 2023, will not be charged any additional fees.
Categories Affected by the US Visa Fee Hike
The US visa categories affected by the hike are:
- B1: Business; Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer
- B2: Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor
- H: Work visas
- L: Intra-company transferee
- O: Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics
- P: Performing athlete, artist, entertainer
- Q: International cultural exchange visitor
- R: Religious worker
- E: Treaty trader/treaty investor
Impact on Consular Fees
The Final Rule only affects certain NIV and BCC fees. Other consular fees are not affected, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors.
NIV fees are set based on the actual cost of providing NIV services and are determined after conducting a study of the cost of these services. The Department uses an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to calculate, annually, the cost of providing consular services, including visa services.
It may be noted here that the fees for most non-petition-based NIVs were last updated in 2012, and certain other NIV fees were last updated in 2014.
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