US Visa Fees

US Visa Fees: A Complete Guide

US visa fees vary depending on the type of visa being applied for. For nonimmigrant visas, the application fee is $160, which is non-refundable and non-transferable. For certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas, such as H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories, the fee is $190, which will increase to $205 effective June 17, 2023. For E category visas (treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation), the fee will increase from $205 to $315. Applicants who paid for their visa application before June 17, 2023, will not be charged any additional fees. Visa fees can be paid through the Visa Appointment Service website, and payment methods include cash (sterling or dollar equivalent) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover, or American Express). For immigrant visas, the fee is $345, which will increase to $325, $330, or $345 depending on the visa category. Visa fees are subject to exchange rate fluctuations and may be reduced or increased accordingly.

US Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees

For individuals seeking temporary entry to the United States, nonimmigrant visas are the way to go. The costs for nonimmigrant visas can be divided into two categories: non-petition based visas and petition based visas.

Non-Petition Based Visas

For non-petition based visas, where an employer or US entity does not need to file a petition, the application fee is $185. These visas include:

  • US Visitor Visas (B-1 visa and B-2 visa)
  • C-1 visa for transits to the US
  • D visa for airline or ship crewmembers
  • F visa for students and academics
  • I visa for media and journalists
  • J visa for exchange visitors (excluding those sponsored by the US government)
  • M visa for vocational students
  • TN TD visa for NAFTA professionals
  • T visa for victims of human trafficking
  • U visa for victims of criminal activity

Petition Based Visas

On the other hand, petition based visas, which require an employer or US entity to file a petition, have an application fee of $205. These visas include:

  • H visas for temporary workers (H-1B visa, H-1B1 visa, H-2A visa, H-2B visa, H-3 visa, H-4 visa)
  • L visas for intracompany transfers (L-1 visa, L-2 visa)
  • O visas for persons with extraordinary abilities (O-1 visa, O-2 visa, O-3 visa)
  • P visa for athletes, entertainers, and artists
  • Q visa for international cultural exchanges
  • R visa for religious workers
  • E visa for traders and investors (E-1 visa, E-2 visa, E-3 visa)
  • K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen

Keep in mind that additional fees may apply for specific cases, such as the Border Crossing Card for Mexican Citizens or fraud detection and prevention fees for certain visa types.

How to Pay a US Visa Fee?

Paying the US visa fee is typically done at the embassy or consulate during the interview process in your home country. Payment methods usually include cash, debit or credit cards, while personal checks are not accepted. Each foreign embassy or consulate may have its own payment guidelines.

When are Fees Not Necessary for US Nonimmigrant Visas?

There are instances where you may not have to pay the application fee. These situations include:

  • Applying for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas.
  • A J visa applicant sponsored by the US government.
  • Replacing a machine-readable visa when the original visa was not well stamped and it was not the applicant’s fault.
  • Members of staff of the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly, and their families.
  • Transiting to the UN Headquarters.
  • Part of a US government sponsored program, including their spouse and children.
  • Traveling for charity purposes.
  • US government employees traveling for official business.
  • Attending the funeral or burial of a US government employee who was killed in the line of duty.

US Nonimmigrant Visa Reciprocity Fees

Reciprocity fees are additional fees for issuing visas and border crossing cards. These fees vary depending on the applicant’s country of residence and the type of visa they are applying for. Immigrant visas do not have reciprocity fees, only nonimmigrant visas.

Applicants may not have to pay a reciprocity fee if they fall under certain categories, such as:

  • Members of staff of the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly, and their families.
  • Transiting to the UN Headquarters.
  • Part of a US government sponsored program, including their spouse and children.
  • Traveling for charity purposes.

US Immigrant Visa Fees

For those looking to live and work permanently in the US, immigrant visas are the way to go. The fees for immigrant visas include both petition and processing fees.

Petition Fees

  • Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Relative: $535.00 USD
  • Form I-600 or Form I-800, Orphan Immediate Relative Petition: $775.00 USD

Processing Fees

Processing fees vary depending on the type of visa being applied for:

  • Immediate Relative or Family Preference Immigration Applications: $325.00 USD (in addition to the petition fee)
  • Employment-Based Immigration Applications: $345.00 USD (in addition to the petition fee)
  • Other immigration applications (such as self-petitioning): $205.00 USD
  • K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen: $265.00 USD
  • Certain Afghan or Iraqi special immigrant applications: No fee

Additionally, most immigrant visas require an Affidavit of Support, which costs $120.00 USD. This fee is paid by the US citizen sponsor to demonstrate that they can financially support the applicant.

How Often Does US Visa Fees Change

US visa fees change periodically based on various factors. The fees for most non-petition based nonimmigrant visas were last updated in 2012, and certain other visa fees were last updated in 2014. However, recent changes have been announced, with the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee set to increase from $160 to $185 for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas (F, M, and J visas), effective June 17, 2023. Additionally, the fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205, while the fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (nonimmigrant E category) visa will increase from $205 to $315.

Moreover, the U.S. Department of State adjusts visa fees based on the actual cost of providing consular services using an Activity-Based Costing methodology. Visa fees are subject to regular exchange rate fluctuations and may be reduced or increased accordingly. It is essential for applicants to stay informed about fee updates as USCIS may adjust premium processing fees biennially to reflect inflation rates. For instance, USCIS recently announced an inflation adjustment to premium processing fees with changes going into effect on February 26, 2024. These adjustments aim to fund USCIS adjudication and naturalization services while improving adjudication processes and reducing benefit request processing backlogs.

If you’re considering immigrating to a new country, consider consulting with experts who provide immigration services.

How do us Visa Fees Vary by Country

US visa fees vary depending on the type of visa being applied for. For nonimmigrant visas, the application fee is $160, which is non-refundable and non-transferable. For certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas, such as H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories, the fee is $190, which will increase to $205 effective June 17, 2023. For E category visas (treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation), the fee will increase from $205 to $315. Applicants who paid for their visa application before June 17, 2023, will not be charged any additional fees. Visa fees are subject to exchange rate fluctuations and may be reduced or increased accordingly. For immigrant visas, the fee is $345, which will increase to $325, $330, or $345 depending on the visa category. Visa fees are official quoted in US dollars, but payment is made in the respective national currency.

US Diversity Visa Fees

The US Diversity Visa, also known as the Lottery, allows individuals to apply for a chance to be selected for an immigrant visa. The application fee for the Diversity Visa is $330.00 USD, and it must be paid before submitting the application online.

Please note that the fees mentioned above are as of January 2018 and are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, consult the US Department of State, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the US Homeland Department. Additionally, review the instructions provided by the US Embassy or Consulate from which you are applying.