May 28 2002
Visa Application Fee Increase
The Department of State is raising the visa application fee for nonimmigrants from $45 to $65, effective June 1, 2002. The State Department is required by Federal regulations and law to recover the costs of most consular services through user fees. According to the Department, the new fees are essential to maintaining and improving high quality customer service while at the same time taking advantage of IT advances and security enhancements related to homeland security. The change in fees is global and will affect American consular offices in every nation. Applications submitted on or after June 1 that contain less than the $65 fee will be returned with no action being taken on them.
Other changes include the following:
· Nonimmigrants wishing to enter the U.S. must now submit Form DS-156, as opposed to the previously used Form OF-156.
· All male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45 must complete and submit Form DS-157.
Applications will only be accepted by mail, and should be sent by courier envelope and contain another envelope for return of the visa and supporting materials. Beneficiaries and dependents of approved visa candidates must submit evidence that the candidate's petition has been approved.
Two exceptions to the new fee may apply to some nonimmigrants:
· Additional reciprocity fees (based on amounts charged by the applicant's nation to U.S. citizens applying for visas) may apply. Please check the Department of State's web site [http://travel.state.gov] for a full and updated list of reciprocity fees.
· Candidates whose nations are part of the Visa Waiver Program may be able to visit the U.S. for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days without a visa.