The Department of State has recently taken a significant step to facilitate travel. A Final Rule has been issued, outlining changes to select nonimmigrant visa application (NIV) processing fees. These revisions also encompass the Border Crossing Card (BCC) specifically applicable to Mexican citizens aged 15 and above.
- Published in the Federal Register on March 28, 2023, these fee adjustments are set to take effect on June 17, 2023. To ensure you stay well-informed and prepared, please review the following key points summarizing the upcoming changes:
- Visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), as well as other non-petition based NIVs like student and exchange visitor visas, will increase from $160 to $185.
- Certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will see a fee adjustment from $190 to $205.
- For treaty traders, treaty investors, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category), the fee will increase from $205 to $315.
It’s important to understand that these fees are set according to the actual costs of providing NIV services. The Department of State conducts regular studies to assess the expenses associated with these services, using an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology. This allows them to calculate the annual cost of consular services, including visa services.
It’s also worth noting that most non-petition based NIV fees were last updated in 2012, while certain other NIV fees were last adjusted in 2014. This recent Final Rule aims to align the fees with the current cost of providing these essential services.
Finally, it’s essential to emphasize that this rule only affects NIV fees and does not impact other consular fees. For example, the waiver of the two-year residency fee for certain exchange visitors will remain unchanged.
For specific fee information, we encourage you to visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, travel.state.gov. Additionally, you can find relevant details on the websites of U.S. embassies and consulates.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changing fees and how they may impact you or your employees, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zulkie Partners. We are here to provide guidance and support.
Stay informed, adapt to the changes, and ensure a smooth visa process for your endeavors!