Effective June 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of State has announced an increase in certain nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application processing fees worldwide. These adjustments aim to better align fees with the actual cost of providing consular services and support the facilitation of legitimate travel to the United States. The fee changes were published as a Final Rule in the Federal Register on March 28, 2023, and will be effective from May 30, 2023.
Under the revised fee structure, the application fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s) and other non-petition based NIVs, including student and exchange visitor (F/M/J) visas, will rise from $160 to $185. Similarly, the application fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205. Moreover, the application fee for treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicant visas in a specialty occupation (E category) will rise from $205 to $315.
Applicants who have already paid the visa application fee that is currently valid and non-expired, but are yet to appear for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed, will not be required to pay the fee difference. Additionally, individuals who pay the fee before the fee increase on June 17, 2023, will not be affected by the revised fees.
It is important to note that all nonimmigrant visa application fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, will be valid for 365 days from the date of payment. Within this 365-day period, applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application. While there is no requirement for the interview to occur within the 365-day period, it is necessary to schedule the interview or submit the waiver application within that timeframe. Receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, have been extended until September 30, 2023, and will remain valid until that date.
The Department of State remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States for both immigrant and nonimmigrant travelers. The adjustment in visa application fees reflects the Department’s ongoing efforts to ensure the provision of efficient and secure consular services.
The Department utilizes an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to determine the fees based on the actual cost of providing consular services, including visa services. These fees are reviewed and adjusted annually to reflect the costs incurred. The fees for most non-petition based NIVs were last updated in 2012, while certain other NIV fees were last adjusted in 2014.
It is worth noting that this fee adjustment does not affect other consular fees, such as the waiver of the two-year residency requirement fee for certain exchange visitors.
Visas for work and tourism are integral to President Biden’s foreign policy, recognizing the significant role international travel plays in the U.S. economy.
For more information regarding the fee changes, individuals can visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at travel.state.gov. Detailed fee information is also available on the websites of U.S. embassies and consulates.