The visa fee increase originally announced for May 30, 2023, will be postponed until June 17, 2023 - the U.S. Department of State announced at short notice before it takes effect. All U.S. consulates worldwide will be affected.
The fee payment is not uniformly regulated in the consular missions of the respective countries, but is usually made via an online profile and is mandatory for a visa to be issued.
On June 16, 2023, no payment will be possible for one day as part of the fee changeover. The new fees will then apply from June 17.
The conversion rate of the fees, which are initially only shown in US$, into euros or the respective national currency has not yet been determined. This is expected to be communicated on the websites of the US authorities on June 17, 2023.
We strongly recommend that all applicants do not pay their fees on June 16 in order to avoid problems. It is not yet known whether persons who have still paid the old visa fee, but whose interview date will take place after June 17, will have to expect an additional payment.
The U.S. Department of State recently announced a new fee schedule for consular services for nonimmigrant visas (=NIV). The new fee schedule goes into effect June 17, 2023, and applies to most U.S. nonimmigrant visas that can be applied for at U.S. cons ulates worldwide.
Nearly all visa categories will incur higher costs in the consular application process beginning on that date.
The fee ordinance was originally announced for the end of May, but has now been postponed on short notice until mid-June.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the increase will help better cover the cost of providing consular services. The exact fees depend on the type of visa one is applying for.
You can find an overview of what fees will apply to which visa category starting June 17, 2023 here:
|Visa Category||Affected visa||New price||Old price||Percentage increase|
|Non-Petition Based NIV||B, C-1, D, F, I, J, M, TN||$185||$160||16%|
|Petition Based NIV||H, L, O, P, Q, R||$205||$190||15%|
|E Category||E-Reg/E-1/E-2 Sequence||$315||$205||54%|
While the costs for e.g. business, student and certain petition-based work visas increase only moderately, especially the popular E-category is affected by a nevertheless significant price increase.
Compared to many so-called petition-based work visas, however, the E visa remains the most cost-effective option (by far). Background: Since E-1/E-2 visas can be applied for directly at the U.S. consulate, only the (still significantly lower) consular fees apply here. For most other work visas, such as H or L, a time-consuming and quite cost-intensive approval procedure must first be gone through via the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USCIS).
The new fee schedule follows a review of the previous fee structure by the U.S. Department of State and Congress. In a statement, the Department said the new fees are urgently needed to continue to cover the (increased) cost of services at U.S. consulates and to provide the best possible service to applicants.
NIV fees are set based on the actual cost of providing NIV services and after conducting a study of the cost of those services in U.S. consulates worldwide. In doing so, the Department uses anactivity-based costing (ABC) methodology to calculate the annual cost of providing these services, including visa issuance. Fees for most non-application NIVs were last updated in 2012, and some other NIV fees were last adjusted in 2014.
The fee increase now announced by the U.S. Department of State affects only visa services provided by U.S. consulates (outside the U.S.). This is therefore two different fee schedules for different U.S. authorities in each case.
As feared, the visa fee increase has been met with many criticisms. Some groups criticize the fee increase as an unnecessary burden on visa applicants and U.S. travelers. But there are also fears of a negative impact on the U.S. tourism industry, which has already been hit hard by the pandemic. According to a report by the U.S. Travel Association, the U.S. tourism industry lost $766 billion and 5.6 million jobs in 2020 due to the pandemic. Rising visa fees could discourage many potential tourists, especially travelers from lower-income countries, from visiting the United States.
However, in the overall package of a U.S. trip, additional costs of, say, $25 for a tourist, or student visa, should hardly matter.
The application fee increase is also an additional burden for companies and their employees who need visas for business travel and/or work assignments. After all, they face rising costs for flights, accommodation and local living expenses at the same time.
The new fees could also impact U.S. bilateral relations with other countries. Some countries have already adjusted their application fees in return for U.S. citizens who need to apply for visas to those countries.
However, from the U.S. authorities' perspective, the fee increase was overdue and serves to ensure consular services and cap costs. Additionally, they point out that visa application fees are still very reasonable compared to other countries and many visa categories are issued directly for multiple years.
Information on fees can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, travel.state.gov, and on the websites of U.S. embassies and consulates.
Updated on 18.4.2023
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