U.S. Embassy Announces Nonimmigrant Visa Fee Increase

U.S. Embassy Announces Nonimmigrant Visa Fee Increase

Ugandans who want to travel to the USA will need to make larger financial sacrifices.

This follows the US Department of State’s announcement that the processing costs for a number of non-immigrant visa categories, including students, would be increasing.

The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States for both immigrant and nonimmigrant travelers. 

According to a statement issued by the Embassy in Uganda, the U.S. Department of State will increase the application fee for business or tourism visitors and other non-petition-based non-immigrant visas such as student and exchange visitors.

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The Department of State published a Final Rule regarding increases to certain nonimmigrant visa application (NIV) processing fees and the Border Crossing Card (BCC) for Mexican citizens age 15 and over. These increases were published in the Federal Register on March 28, 2023 and will be effective on May 30, 2023.

The fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas, will increase from $160 to $185.

The fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205. The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will increase from $205 to $315. 

The Embassy says that the application fee for certain petition-based non-immigrant visas for temporary workers will increase from $190 (about Shs707,000) to $205 (about Shs763,000) while that for a treaty trader, investor, and applicant in a speciality occupation will increase from $205 (about Shs763,000) to $315 (about Shs1,172,000).

“Applicants who have already paid a visa application fee that is currently valid and non-expired, but who have not yet appeared for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed; and applicants who pay the fee before May 30, 2023, will not have to pay the fee difference,” reads a statement by Anthony Kujawa, the Embassy Spokesperson.

NIV fees are set based on the actual cost of providing NIV services and are determined after conducting a study of the cost of these services. The Department uses an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to calculate, annually, the cost of providing consular services, including visa services. The fees for most non-petition based NIVs were last updated in 2012, and certain other NIV fees were last updated in 2014. 

Other consular fees are not affected by this rule, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors. 

Visas for work and tourism are essential to President Biden’s foreign policy, and we recognize the critical role international travel plays in the U.S. economy. 

He adds that all non-immigrant visa application fee payments made on or after 1st October 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the fee.

Estimates indicate that Sh12 billion is generated annually from Ugandans who apply for visas to the US.

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