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$160 US tourist visa fee to take effect April 13

Starting April 13, the fees for some nonimmigrant visas — including tourist visas — to the United States will be higher ($160) but those for immigrant visas will be lower.

In a news release on Wednesday, the US Embassy in Manila said there will be lower fees for all immigrant visas, as well as those for fiancé/fianceé visas and trader/investor visas.

However, there will be higher fees for some non-immigrant visas, including tourist, business visas, and student visas, and others.

According to the US Department of State website, the new fees are:

Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa Previous Fee New Fee
Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor, and Journalist visas $140 $160
Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) $150 $190
Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E) $390 $270
Fiancé(e) visas (K) $350 $240
Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older) $140 $160
Border Crossing Cards (under age 15) $14 $15

Because of a reallocation of costs associated with immigrant visas, all categories of immigrant visa processing fees will decrease.

Immigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa Previous Fee New Fee
Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications $330 $230
Employment-Based Applications $720 $405
Other Immigrant Visa Applications $305 $220
Diversity Visa Program Fee $440 $330
Determining Returning Resident Status $380 $275
Visa application fees paid before April 13 at the prior rate will be honored through July 12,
2012.

Starting on July 13, 2012, applicants who had paid application fees at a prior rate will

have to pay the difference between the prior rate and the new rate.

For visa categories that have reduced fees effective April 13, no refunds will be given to those who paid the fees before the effective date.

For a full listing of the new visa fees, visit the US Embassy Manila website.

New law

The US Embassy said the reduction in the immigrant visa fees was due to a new US law that allows the US Department of State to seek reimbursement from other federal agencies (such as the US Citizenship and Immigration Service).

However, US embassies must collect higher fees for tourist and other types of nonimmigrant visas because US law requires the Department of State to recover the costs of processing those types of visas.

The embassy said the new fees more accurately reflect the costs of visa processing services

determined in a US government study last December.
11 Apr 2012
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