The U.S. Department of State has increased some nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application processing fees globally effective May 30, 2023.
The application fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s) and other non-petition based NIVs, such as student and exchange visitor visas, has increased from $160 to $185.
The application fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) has also increased from $190 to $205.
The application fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicant in a specialty occupation (E category) has increased from $205 to $315.
Other consular fees remain the same, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors, a statement from the U.S Embassy in Ghana has said.
The Embassy said, “this fee increase is established by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and will take effect equally at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.”
Applicants who have already paid a visa application fee that is currently valid and non-expired, but who have not yet appeared for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed, will not be charged any additional fees.
The statement explained that “applicants who pay the visa fee before May 30, 2023, and schedule an interview within 365 days of the day payment is made are not affected by this change.”
“There is no requirement for the interview to occur during that 365-day period, applicants must just take the step of scheduling an appointment within 365 days,” it added.
The Embassy said all visa fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, were valid for 365 days from the date a receipt was issued for payment of the fee.
It reiterated that “applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application within 365 days of paying the visa fee.”
The Department of State’s consular operations, it noted, were funded by fees collected for the consular services it provided.
“Nonimmigrant visa fees are set based on the actual cost of providing these services, as determined after conducting a study of the cost of these services. Nonimmigrant visa fee increases are based strictly on the results of this cost-of-service model, and the Department of State only recovers the costs of providing these consular services.”