State department to increase Non-Immigrant Visa Fees

The Department of State released a proposed rule on Wednesday that will raise the fees for non-immigrant visas to more closely align the fee amounts with the cost to the government of providing these services.

The new fees will impact virtually all non-immigrant visa categories, with fees for common visa applications such as tourist (B-1/B-2) and student visas (F, M, J) rising by 53% — from $160 to $245, along with Border Crossing Cards for people age 15 and up. Employment visas such as the H, L, O, P, Q, R, and E categories will rise 63%, from $190 to $310. Waivers of the two-year home residency requirement for J visa holders will see the largest increase — 325% — landing at $510.

The State Department has not increased fees on most non-immigrant visas since 2012, though costs have increased each year since then (E visa fees were raised in 2014).

The Department uses a process called a “Cost of Service Model” (CoSM) to determine fees. Under this model, fees to applicants should be enough to cover the cost to the government of processing the application. The Department proposes to raise all non-immigrant fees to meet rising costs, but certain categories and services, such as E visas and J visa home residency waivers, require much more time and effort to process and thus are expected to see larger fee increases.

The State Department expects the proposed Rule will go into effect sometime before September 2022, and is accepting comments on the proposed fee increases until February 28, 2022.

Source: Read the full story here


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