New Consular Fees Take Effect May 30
A revised State Department fee schedule that increases fees for nonimmigrant visa applications and border crossing cards will take effect on May 30. The fee increases are not as steep as those proposed by the agency in a December 2021 proposal. The fee for H, L, O, and P nonimmigrant visas will increase to $205, from $190. E visa application fees will increase to $315, from $205.
Fees for nonimmigrant visas and border crossing cards will increase starting May 30, according to a new Department of State fee schedule published in today’s Federal Register. Visa application fees for the most common employment-based nonimmigrant visas, such as H, L, O, and P, will increase to $205, from $190. Fees for B-1/B-2 and F-1 visas, and for border crossing cards for those ages 15 and older, will increase to $185 (from $160), and E visa application fees will increase to $315 (from $205). The Department is postposing a planned fee increase for the J-1 exchange visitor waiver of the two-year residency requirement; that fee will remain the same. A full list of the fee increases can be found in the chart below:
(effective May 30, 2023)
|Non-petition based nonimmigrant visas (except E visas)||$185||$160|
|H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas||$205||$190|
|Border crossing card for Mexican citizens – age 15 and older||$185||$160|
|Waiver of J-1 two-year residency requirement||$120||$120|
The State Department last made a comprehensive adjustment to consular fees in 2012, with some follow-up adjustments in 2014 when fees for employment-based nonimmigrant visas either remained the same or decreased. More recently, the agency set forth a proposed revised fee schedule in December 2021 that included steep fee increases across all nonimmigrant visa types. The final fee schedule reflects lower increases than the proposal, which the agency attributes to a resurgence in nonimmigrant visa demand after the proposal’s publication. The resurgence required the State Department to revise their cost-of-service projections for the coming fiscal years, which resulted in a reduction in fee increases in the final rule.
The fee rule published today also includes State Department responses to comments received from the public regarding the December 2021 fee proposal, with several commenters asking the agency to reinstate domestic visa renewal in order to address consular backlogs. In response, the agency confirmed that it continues to assess the “numerous logistical challenges” to implementing domestic visa renewal. The rule does not mention the limited domestic renewal pilot program that is reportedly in development at the agency.
What the fee increases mean for employers and foreign nationals
The fee increases will mean higher application costs for nonimmigrant visas and border crossing cards. Foreign nationals applying for these documents after May 30 should ensure they are remitting the correct fee amounts.