In a trend other government agencies will surely follow, the U.S. Department of State is increasing its visa application fees to support its consular infrastructure and operations. It receives a limited amount of direct congressional appropriation funding relying on user fees for operational needs. The last time a fee update occurred was in 2012 and 2014, and was based on the actual cost of providing NIV services after a study.
On May 30, 2023, nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application processing fees and Border Crossing Card fees (issued to Mexican citizens) will increase. All visa applicants must pay the fee amounts in effect on the date of their payment submission per consular instructions.
The key fee changes implemented by the rule are the following:
- Non-petition based NIV visa applications (B, C, D, F, I, J, M, TN/TD, S, T, U) will increase from $160 to $185
- H, L, O, P, Q, and R category NIV visa applications will increase from $190 to $205
- E visa category for treaty traders and investors including employees as executives, managers/supervisors or essential workers will increase from $205 to $315
- Border Crossing Cards for Mexican citizens age 15 and over will increase from $160 to $185
Thus, any foreign national planning to apply for a NIV abroad should plan to pay the respective NIV fee as soon as possible before the May 30, 2023, change.
Fortunately, the fee increases are smaller than when first published as a proposed rule.