According to a recent Department of State announcement, nonimmigrant visa application processing fees are scheduled to increase on June 4, 2010. The increase in fees applies to both nonimmigrant visas placed in passports and to border crossing cards issued to certain people in Mexico.
The new fees create a tiered structure with separate fees for different nonimmigrant visa categories. The new nonimmigrant visa fees will be:
- Nonimmigrant visas that are not petition-based – $140
- Petition-based nonimmigrant visas – $150
- K visas for fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens – $350
- E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors – $390
Nonimmigrant visas that are not petition-based and will have a fee of $140 include B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas. Also included are student and exchange visitor visas such as F, M and J visas.
Petition-based nonimmigrant visas 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 cost of service study conducted as part of the process for determining the fee increase listed the following estimated number of anticipated visa applications for the 2010 fiscal year:
- Non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas – 6,458,906
- H, L, O, P, Q or R visas – 573,789
- E visas – 44,814
- K visas – 98,077
The Department of State is increasing nonimmigrant visa application fees to ensure that there are sufficient resources to cover the rising cost of processing nonimmigrant visas. The tiered fee structure was created to cover the higher costs for processing certain categories of nonimmigrant visas. Some visa categories require more in-depth review than other categories of nonimmigrant visas which makes it more expensive to process those visas and the Department of State is required to cover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of application fees.