Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Fee Increase
On March 28, 2023, the Department of State published a Final Rule regarding upcoming increases to certain nonimmigrant visa application (NIV) processing fees. This edition of our Ask-the-Consul will address some common questions about this upcoming change.
What are the fee increases?
Worldwide, the fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student (F1), crewman (C1/D) and exchange visitor visas (J1), will increase from USD$160 to USD$185.
Petition based non-immigrant visas, such as temporary workers (H), athletes, artists, and entertainers (P), religious workers (R), etc. will increase from USD$190 to USD$205.
E visas for treaty traders, treaty investors, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation will increase from USD$205 to USD$315.
When will the new NIV fees go into effect?
The Final Rule implementing these NIV fee increases was published in the Federal Register on March 28, 2023. The new fees will be effective on May 30, 2023 – 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Why is the Department increasing NIV fees now?
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.
These NIV fee increases account for increasing operating costs such as rent, technology, contract support staff, materials (e.g., visa foils), and administrative services.
Will individuals who already paid the existing (lower) MRV fee have to pay the difference?
No. All MRV fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the fee. Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application within 365 days of paying the MRV fee. There is no requirement for the interview to occur during the 365-day period.
Receipts for MRV fees paid prior to October 1, 2022, will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023.
When were NIV Fees last adjusted?
The fees for most non-petition based NIVs, such as visitor visas, were last updated in 2012, and certain other NIV fees were last updated in 2014.
Did the public have the opportunity to comment on the proposed fee increases?
Yes. The public had the opportunity to comment during the 60-day public comment period, which ended on February 28, 2022. The final rule addresses the public comments submitted during that process. You may review the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/03/28/2023-06290/schedule-of-fees-for-consular-services-nonimmigrant-and-special-visa-fees if you would like more information on the process and methodology used to arrive at the final rule.
“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed information about visas and travel can be viewed at https://gy.usembassy.gov/, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ and https://travel.state.gov/. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently, and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center on toll free numbers: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions.”