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Application Fees for NonImmigrant Visas to Go Up on January 1, 2008
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All U.S. non-immigrant visas are going to be dearer considering the fee increase. Effective January 1, 2008, the application fee for a U.S. non-immigrant visa will increase from $100 to $131. This increase allows the Department to recover the costs of security and other enhancements to the non-immigrant visa application process. This increase applies both to non-immigrant visas issued on machine-readable foils in passports and to border crossing cards issued to certain applicants in Mexico.

Applicants who paid the prior $100 application fee before January 1 will be processed only if they are scheduled and appear for a visa interview before January 31. Applicants who paid the prior $100 application fee and appear for visa interviews after January 31, 2008 must pay the difference -- $31 -- before they will be interviewed.

Reason cited for the fee increase

The Department said that it is required by law to attempt to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the Machine-Readable Visa application fee. They also believed that because of new security-related costs, new information technology systems, and inflation, the $100 Machine-Readable Visa fee is lower than the actual cost of processing non-immigrant visas. They added that the $100 fee was already lower than the cost of processing non-immigrant visas when the fee was reviewed as a part of the cost of service study in 2004 and the Department has been absorbing the additional cost.

In order to enhance security and fingerprint matching accuracy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now collecting 10 fingerprints from each applicant, and the cost charged by the FBI to review those fingerprints no longer allows the DHS to do this. The application fee has increased twice since September 11, 2001, the last time in 2002.


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