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By Sanwar Ali:
This is a very significant increase in the visa fees for those applying at US Embassies and Consulates. This will affect visitors, and a number of other non-immigrants including those applying for popular work visas such as the L-1 visa, E-2 visa, H-1B visa, and other temporary work visa categories.
Upcoming Increases to Non-Immigrant Visa Fees
On March 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of State published a final rule in the Federal Register regarding increases to certain non-immigrant visa (NIV) application processing fees and the border crossing card (BCC) for Mexican citizens age 15 and over. These fee increases will take effect on May 30, 2023.
Affected Visa Categories and New Fees
The fee for visitor visas for B1 for business or B2 visa for tourism and border crossing cards BCCs for Mexicans, as well as other non-petition-based NIVs (non-immigrant visas) such as student and exchange visitor visas, will increase from $160 to $185. The fee for certain petition-based non-immigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205 per person. The fee for E-1 treaty trader, E-2 treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will increase from $205 to $315. It is important to note that the last updates for most non-petition-based NIV fees occurred in 2012, while certain other NIV fees were last updated in 2014.
Unaffected Visa Fees and Conclusion
This rule introducing these visa fees does not affect other consular fees, including the fee for the waiver of the two-year residency requirement fee for certain exchange visitors. However, given the upcoming fee increases for various non-immigrant visa categories, individuals planning to apply for a visitor visa may consider applying before May 30, 2023, in order to avoid the higher fees.
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