On May 20, 2010, the Department of State published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to increase nonimmigrant visa application processing fees, also called the Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee, and Border Crossing Card (BCC) fees. The interim final rule also establishes a tiered structure with separate fees for different nonimmigrant visa categories. The new fees are scheduled to go into effect on June 4, 2010.
The Department is increasing fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the rising cost of processing nonimmigrant visas. This increase applies both to nonimmigrant visas placed in passports and to border crossing cards issued to certain applicants in Mexico.
The new, tiered fee structure was created to cover the higher unit costs for processing certain categories of nonimmigrant visas that are more complicated and require more in-depth consideration than most other categories of nonimmigrant visas. The Department is required to recover, as far as possible, the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. For a number of reasons, including new security enhancements, the $131 fee set on January 1, 2008 no longer covers the current, actual cost of processing nonimmigrant visas.
Under the new schedule of fees, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange visitor (F, M and J) visas, will pay a fee of $140.
Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150. These categories include:
· H visa for temporary workers and trainees
· L visa for intracompany transferees
· O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability
· P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers
· Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors
· R visa for religious occupations
The application fee for K visas for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390.
Concurrent with the publication of the interim final rule, the Department will also release additional cost of service data and re-open the public comment period for an additional 60 days. At the conclusion of that period, the Department will consider public comments and publish a final rule. To view the interim final rule, please go to 75 Federal Register 28194. Comments may be submitted via www.regulations.gov
This fee increase information may also be found on the Department of State, Travel.state.gov internet site, on the Fees for Visa Services webpage
, and also on U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites abroad. Only the fees for nonimmigrant visas will change on June 4. Proposed fee changes related to U.S. passports, immigrant visas, and other consular services are still under review.