- The DOS has published a proposed rule increasing application processing fees for some visa applications
- Changes will apply to certain nonimmigrant visas and the “J-Waiver” fee at US consulates worldwide
- The DOS is updating fees to reduce volatility using a ten-year average for the demand that considers the sharp decrease for visa services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The rule will be accompanied by a 60-day public comment period ending on February 28, 2022
On December 29, 2021, the Department of State (DOS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to increase application processing fees for various visa applications at US consulates worldwide. Certain nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) and the “J-Waiver” fee, which applies to the removal of the two-year J-1 residency requirement, where applicable, are highlighted below.
What are the Changes?
The DOS aims to update fees to reflect better the cost of providing visa services. It proposes the following changes to apply to visa applications at US consulates worldwide in 2022:
- Nonimmigrant visa applications at US consulates pursuant to an approved USCIS petition for employment in the US will see a fee increase to $310 per application. The current fee is $190 per application. Such nonimmigrant visas include the categories of H, L, O, and P
- Nonimmigrant visas that are applied for at a US consulate and are not based on an approved USCIS petition (excluding E visas) have a proposed fee increase to $245 per application, up from the existing fee of $160
- For E visas, which are specific to treaty traders or investors and Australian specialty occupation workers, the State Department proposes a fee increase from $205 to $485
- The DOS also proposes increasing the “J-Waiver” fee to $510. Currently, the cost is $120
The fee increases proposed by the DOS have the stated goal to ensure that the fees associated with providing the consular services are better aligned with the cost of the services based on a 10-year average demand.
A 60-day public comment period will follow the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register. The DOS will accept comments through February 28, 2022.
Source: Department of State (DOS)