All US visa applicants must pay a visa application fee. This fee is non-refundable. This means whether your visa application is rejected or approved, this fee will not be refunded. You should also note that your documents will not be reviewed without paying this fee. The cost of applying for a visa varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. In this blog, we are going to categorize the US visa application fee according to the type of visa.
The application fee for the petition and non-petition based visas
As you know, the application fee for all non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas is $160.00. The non-petition-based visas are as follows:
|B||Visitor visas for business, medical treatment, and business|
|D||Crewmembers for people working in airline and ship|
|I||For people working in media and journalism|
|J||Exchange visitor visa (people who sponsored by government institution do not need to pay)|
|M||For people who participate in vocational courses|
|TN/TD||For NAFTA Professionals|
|S||For Witness or Informant|
|T||For the victim of human trafficking|
|U||For the victim of criminal activity|
The application fee for petition based visas is $190.00. The petition-based visas are as follows:
|H||For temporary workers, employment and trainee|
|O||For people who have an extraordinary ability|
|P||For athletes, artists, and entertainers|
|Q||International Cultural Exchange|
|R||For religious workers|
People who are applying for Treaty Trader/Investor, Australian Professional visas (E visas) must pay $205.00, and for the fiancé(e) or spouse of US citizen category visa (K visas), the application fee is $265.00.
- The application fee for people who want to obtain a Border crossing card (BCC) include:
- Those who are 15 and over (with ten years validity): $160.00
- Those who are under 15: $16.00 (for Mexican nationals if parent or guardian has or is applying for a border crossing card and it is valid for ten years or until the person reaches age 15, whichever is sooner)
- For applicants for the L visas, there is also a fee of $500.00 for fraud detection and prevention.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 raises fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners (Public Law 114-113).
- Consular sections collect $4,500.00 for blanket L-1 visa applications (principal applicant only) filed by petitioners who hired 50 or more persons in the US if more than 50 per cent of those people are in H-1B or L-1 visa.
- Applicants who are eligible to apply through the Visa Waiver Program must pay a small fee.” Requirements of the US Visa Waiver Program” explains how to apply for a visa waiver.
People who are exempt from paying the application fee
- Applicants for visas A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas
- Applicants for Exchange Visitor visa who are supported by a governmental institution
- To replace a machine-readable visa when the initial visa was not properly stamped, and it was not the applicant’s mistake.
- Applicants exempted by international agreement as defined by Visa Services, including staff of the United Nations Headquarters and their dependents.
- Applicants travelling to provide charitable services
- Government employees travelling for official business
- For immediate families of US government employees who were killed in the line of duty and they intend to participate in the employee’s funeral and burial
Reciprocity Fees for nonimmigrant visas
Applicants for nonimmigrant visas and people who apply to obtain the border crossing cards will also have to pay Reciprocity Fees in addition to the costs described. This fee includes the cost of the issuance visa. The cost of issuing a visa depends on the country of your residence and where you apply for a visa. This fee needs to be paid before you get your passport back from the embassy. In the following cases, applicants will be exempted from paying the reciprocity fees:
- Members of organizations such as the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly, and their dependents
- Transiting to the UN Headquarters
- The participants of programs sponsored by the government as well as their families
- People who travel for charity purposes
The cost of immigrant visa services
US immigrant visas allow applicants to stay permanently in the US. Immigrant visa application fees include petition and processing fees.
The petition costs are:
|Immigrant Petition for Relative (I-130)||$535.00|
|Orphan Immediate Relative Petition (I-600, I-800)||$775.00|
Processing costs depend on the type of visa and are paid per person:
|Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications||$325.00
|Employment-Based Immigration Applications||$345.00|
|Other immigrant Visas such as self-petitioner, special immigrant visa applicants, returning resident (SB-1) applicants, and all others, except DV program||$205.00|
|Some Afghan and Iraqi immigration visa application||No fee|
It should be noted that the processing fees are non-refundable.
Other costs for immigrant visas include:
|The application fee for the Diversity Visa Lottery (per person)
(The application fee for the US Diversity Visa or Lottery is subject to change. Contact US Department of State, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the US Homeland Department to obtain accurate information. )
|Affidavit of Support Review
(The fee is given by US citizen sponsors who will assist the applicant financially until they settle down and can work in the US.)
|Determining Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117||$180.00|
|Transportation letter for Lawful Permanent Citizens of the US||$575.00|
|Application for Waiver of the two-year residency requirement, J Waiver, Form DS-3035||$120.00|
|Application for Waiver of visa ineligibility, Form I-601 (Collected for USCIS and subject to change)||$930.00|
|For processing the refugee cases||NO fee|
Let’s sum up …
In this article, we reviewed the costs of applying for both US immigration and nonimmigrant visas. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.