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DOS announces changes in fee structure
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In a recent announcement in the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of State announced a number of changes in their fee structure, effective March 8. The changes include increase in the surcharge for DV Lottery winners from $100 to $375 and the introduction of the new $500 anti-fraud fee for principals in L blanket visa cases.

Most of the other changes are nominal, including the fee to search Department of State files to verify an applicant's U.S. citizenship (from $45 to $60); the Affidavit of Support Review fee (from $65 to $70); the fee for determining returning resident status (from $360 to $400); the fee for a transportation letter issued to a Legal Permanent Resident Alien (LPRA) who needs a transportation letter to reenter the U.S. (from $300 to $165); the fee for waiver of the two-year return residency requirement (from $230 to $215); the fees for processing Letters Rogatory and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) judicial assistance cases (from $650 to $735); the fee for consular time (from $235 to $265) and the new immigrant visa surcharge of $45 to enhance the security of the immigrant visa.

The fraud prevention and detection fee of $500 has both a domestic and an overseas component. Abroad, the State Department, through its consuls, will collect the fee from a principal applicant for an "L" nonimmigrant visa who is covered under a blanket petition. This fee will take effect for nonimmigrant visa applications filed on or after ninety days from enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act i.e., on or after March 8, 2005 (90 days from Dec. 8, 2004)

The final rule will be effective March 8, 2005. All changes in the Department's existing fees will take effect at that time.

For complete text of the Federal Register notice and schedule of fees click here

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