State Department Proposes to Increase Visa Application Fees

December 14, 2009

The Department of State today published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to increase the nonimmigrant visa application processing fees, also called the Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee, and Border Crossing Card (BCC) fees.  The proposed rule also establishes a tiered structure with separate fees for different visa categories.  

Under the proposed rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, would pay a fee of $140.

Applicants for petition-based visas would pay an application fee of $150.  These categories include:

 H visa for temporary workers and trainees
 L visa for intracompany transferees
 O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability
 P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers
 Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors
 R visa for religious occupations
The application fee for K visas for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens would be $350.  The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors would be $390.

The State Department announcement indicates that it will not begin collecting the new proposed fees until it considers public comments and publishes a final rule. 

An FAQ on the proposed rule change is available online at

In order to view the proposed rule and to submit comments, please go to


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