Message for U.S. Visa Applicants: Visa Fees and Validities are Changing

Attention:  Nonimmigrant visa fees and validities are changing.  Effective April 9, the following changes will be implemented:

Visa Classification Purpose of Visa Issuance Fee MRV fee Total New Fees Permitted Entries Visa Validity
Old Fee New Fee Old Validity New Validity
B1 Business $162 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
B2 Tourism $32 $0 $160 $160 Single 3 Months 3 Months
D Crew Member $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 24 Months 12 Months
F1 Academic Student $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
F2 Dependent of Academic Student $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
H1B Specialty Occupation Worker $32 $0 $190 $190 Single 12 Months 90 Days
I Media Representative $32 $0 $160 $160 Single 12 Months 30 Days
J1 Exchange Visitor $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
J2 Dependent of Exchange Visitor $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
L1 Intracompany Transferee Worker $32 $0 $190 $190 Single 12 Months 90 Days
L2 Dependent of Intracompany Transferee Worker $32 $0 $190 $190 Single 12 Months 90 Days
M1 Vocational Student $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
M2 Dependent of Vocational Student $0 $440 $160 $600 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
R1 Religious Worker $32 $260 $190 $450 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months
R2 Dependent of Religious Worker $32 $260 $190 $450 Multiple 12 Months 12 Months

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)    What is a nonimmigrant visa issuance fee?

Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved.  These fees are based on the principle of reciprocity:  when a foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a reciprocal fee on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.

2)    How will this affect applicants‎ from Myanmar?

Currently, approximately one third of Myanmar nationals applying for U.S. visas in Yangon apply for tourist visas.  The total cost to a tourist visa applicant who is issued a visa will decrease from $192 to $160 for a three month B2 visa. Some fees will increase, however. Please refer to the above table.

3)  What if I have already applied for my visa?

The old fees and validities apply to applicants issued prior to April 9.  The new fees and validities apply to applicants issued a visa on or after April 9, regardless of application date.

4)  Why must Myanmar nationals pay the $160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee if Myanmar does not have a similar charge for U.S. Citizens?

The nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, is a nonrefundable fee paid by most applicants for U.S. visas, whether the application is approved or refused.  It covers the costs associated with processing a U.S. visa application.  Current nonimmigrant visa application fees can be found on the U.S. State Department Fees – Visa Services webpage. (This webpage also lists the few visa categories for which application fees are not required.)

While most visa applicants are required to pay the visa application fee, the issuance fee (sometimes called a “reciprocity fee”) is only charged to an approved nonimmigrant visa applicant after the visa interview.

5) Why is the United States revising the visa validities and fees for nationals of Myanmar?   

This is part of a worldwide review of nonimmigrant visa reciprocity arrangements required by ‎U.S. law.

During that review, the Department of State noted discrepancies between Myanmar’s visa regime and that of the United States.

U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validities to be based, insofar as practicable, on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens.

The United States is required by law to adjust fees and validity to match Myanmar’s practices.

6) Is Myanmar being singled out?

No.  The President’s Executive Order requires the Department of State to review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity arrangements worldwide to ensure that U.S. nationals receive reciprocal treatment in terms of validities and fees as that afforded to host country nationals, as required by U.S. law.

The Department of State is applying the same criteria to all countries worldwide in reviewing their visa schedules and determining whether discrepancies exist.

The reciprocity provisions in U.S. law require the Department to correct these imbalances worldwide for all countries that are unable to bring their visa regimes into parity with that of the United States.

7)  Which other countries have been affected by this worldwide review?

All nonimmigrant visa reciprocity arrangements worldwide are reviewed in accordance with the President’s Executive Order.

8)  What explains the timing of this decision?

Executive Order 13780, which was signed by the President in March 2017, requires the Department of State to undertake a worldwide review of nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements and arrangements. After extended bilateral consultations with foreign governments, decisions are made on a continuous, rolling basis to achieve parity of visa reciprocity agreements between the United States and foreign nations.