Bad news for those planning to travel to America, The US State Department has decided to raise the visa application fee, impacting certain non-immigrant visas.
This increase will impose a financial burden on Indian students and tourists due to inflation.
Effective Date of New Fee Rates
According to the statement issued by the US State Department, the increased fee rates for Non-immigrant Visas (NIV) will come into effect from May 30, 2023.
These visas include visitor visas, tourist visas, student visas, and exchange visitor visas. The visa application fee has been increased in a graded manner.
Fee Increase Details
The fee for business or tourist (B1/B2 and BCC) visas and other non-petition based NIV, such as student visas, will rise from approximately Rs 13,000 to around Rs 15,000.
Once the new rules take effect, Indian students will have to pay approximately Rs 15,140 for a US visa, considering the current exchange rates.
Graded Fee Structure for Specific Visa Categories
The US State Department also revealed that the fee for certain petition-based non-immigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from Rs 15,557 to Rs 16,785.
Additionally, the fee for traders, investors, and applicants with a special occupation (E category) will rise from Rs 16,785 to Rs 25,792.
Fee hiked Visa Categories
- B1: Business or domestic worker
- B2: Tourist
- H: Work Visa
- L: Intra-Company Transfer Visa
- o: Foreign nationals with exceptional achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
- P: Athlete, Artist, Entertainer
- Question: Tourists in International Cultural Performance
- R: Religious Worker
- E: Alliance Trader/ Alliance Investor
No Impact on Other Consular Fees
It’s important to note that this fee increase does not affect other consular fees, including the waiver of the two-year residency requirement fee.
The hike in visa fees was in news from long but was not expected. But as it is finally here, we all should be prepared for hiked fees. The percentage of hike in visa fees is not so significant. Most of the Visitors to US are upper middle class family. They are not at all impacted by this hike.
Apart from this hike, there is no change in visa wait times. All the major cities in India are showing wait times more than a year. Some places have wait times of 2 years. US Consulate needs to work on this as well.
Are you planning US Trip? Do you know how to get Visa Appointments easily? Let us know in comments