Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Non-immigrant Visa Consular Fees Effective June 4, 2010

Effective June 4, 2010, the US Department of State is increasing its non-immigrant (temporary) visa processing fees at all US embassies and consular posts and moving to a tiered schedule of fees.  Previously, non-immigrant visa fees were set at a uniform $131.  The new schedule is as follows:

Nonimmigrant visa and border crossing card application processing fees (per person):

(a) Non-petition-based non-immigrant visa (except E category):  $140

These include include B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange visitor (F, M and J) visas

(b) H, L, O, P, Q and R category non-immigrant visa:  $150

- H visa - temporary workers and trainees

· L visa - intracompany transferees

· O visa - aliens with extraordinary ability

· P visa - athletes, artists and entertainers

· Q visa - international cultural exchange visitors

· R visa - religious occupations

(c) E category nonimmigrant visa:   $390

      E covers Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors.

(d) K category nonimmigrant visa:  $350

     The K category includes fiance visas and those for foreign nationals married to US citizens who are waiting for approval of a Form I-130.

(e) Border crossing card--age 15 and over (valid 10 years) :$140

(f) Border crossing card--under age 15 (for Mexican citizens if parent or guardian has or is applying for a border crossing card (valid 10 years or until the applicant reaches age 15, whichever is sooner):  $14

By law, the fees may only be set at cost. The Department of State therefore commissioned an independent study conducted from August 2007 through June 2009 to determine their actual processing costs. Average cost numbers were then rounded up to the nearest ten for easy of foreign currency conversion. The additional revenue resulting from this rounding will be used for GSS services.

The implementing legislation's list of reasons why some “petition based” visa types are more expensive (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) gives a brief insight into the processing activities conducted at the consulates for them:

 review of extensive documentation

 a more in-depth interview of the applicant

 receiving petition information from DHS,

 conducting reviews of government and commercial databases to confirm the existence of the petitioning business, and

 entering that data into the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) database.

Visa reciprocity fees vary from country to country and still apply, so consult with your local post, consulate or embassy to find the exact visa application fees applicable in your case.

Fee changes are only in effect for non-immigrant visas applied for at consular posts (consulates and embassies).  Fee changes are under review for other consular services like US passports, immigrant visas.  Department of State, May 24, 2010 press release, Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees to Increase June 4,

These new fees were set forth in the Federal Register: May 20, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 97),Rules and Regulations, pages 28188-28194. From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [][DOCID:fr20my10-3] DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 22 CFR Part 22, Public Notice: 7018, RIN 1400-AC57. Title: Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates.

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