US immigration announces fee hike for US visas
United States, 31st May: From June 4, 2010 onwards, all those aspiring for US immigration will be required to shell out increased fees for different categories of US visas, the US embassy has stated.
The new US fees for business and visitor travelers (business and tourist visas- B1 and B2 categories), crew and seafarer (C1 and D), exchange visitor (J) and student (F) will be $140(US dollars). The new fee is up from the previous fee of $131.
Meanwhile, the increased fees for US work visas for the categories H, P, L, O, Q and R will be $150.
Moreover, the US visa fees for investor or trader visas (E) will go up to $390 while the new US visa fees for the category of finance, spouse, and fiancée (K) will be $350. However, the US visa fees for other non-immigrant categories will be $140, the US consulate maintained.
According to the US Department of State, the proposed fee hike is being introduced in order to cover rising costs of extending best quality services for the non-immigrant visa processing.
The US embassy clarified that the US visa fees for those who already have submitted the MRV (machine-readable visa) fee of US $131 and have appointment dates earlier than 4th June, 2010 will remain unaffected. But, those who having scheduled appointments on or after June 4 will be required to pay revised US visa fees.
Hence, the US embassy has requested all the applicants for the US visa who have paid $131 as MRV fee for any appointment to be held after 4th June to pay the difference amount in the visa fees at the bank branch where the payment of $131 US visa fees was made.
Also, the applicants will be required to show both blue receipts of MRV fees when they arrive at the concerned Embassy and those who have not paid the full fee will not be permitted to enter in the Embassy for the scheduled interview.
The US consulate maintained that the US visa fee is only an applicant fee and in no way, a ticket for being granted a US visa.