• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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US hikes student, tourist visa fees by 16% from May

US Consulate explains new visa programme, says not drop box

The United States (US) has announced a 15.6 percent hike in the processing fee for Non-Immigrant Visas (NIVs) starting from May 2023.

According to a recent statement by the US department of state, the application fee will increase to $185 from $160 for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s), as well as other non-petition-based NIVs including student and exchange visitor visas.

The fees for non-immigrant temporary workers will rise from $190 to $205 and the fees for investors, treaty traders, and applicants that are a part of the specialty occupation (E Category) will see an increase from $205 to $315.

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“The hike in the affected NIV fees was implemented after a review of the country’s costs of providing these services,” it said.

It said the hike also affects the border crossing card (BCC) for Mexican citizens aged 15 and over.

“These increases were published in the federal register on March 28, 2023, and will be effective on May 30, 2023.”

The US department of state added that other consular fees are not affected by this rule, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors.

“The work and tourism visas are essential to President Biden’s foreign policy and have a critical impact on the country’s economy,” it said.

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.”

Last year, the number of Nigerians studying in US rose by 12.3 percent to 14,438, highest on record from 12,860 in 2021, according to the Institute of International Education.