There is a popular saying that nothing is free even in Free Town. So is the US visa, you cannot be issued a visa-free of charge.
That being said, there is a wide range of application fees and visa costs you are expected to pay, however, this hugely depends on two factors; the type of visa you are applying for and your home country.
In this article, we will list all the fees attached to the US visa ranging from the US nonimmigrant visas, US immigrant visas, reciprocity fees, as well as the US diversity visa fees. We will also define these fees in clear terms and state how much each of them costs.
At the end of the day, we expect that you will have a rough estimate of the amount of money you need to have before you can apply for a US visa.
US Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees
You should know that there are various types of US nonimmigrant visas, well, if you don’t know, you now know that. As a result of the variety of visas, there are also different fees for each of them. This is why it was divided into two groups so that we can have a better understanding of how much the visa application fees are. The groups are; non-petition-based visas and petition-based visas.
About non-petition and petition-based visas
When you come across Non-petition based visas note that it refers to visas that don’t need an employer or someone from the United States to petition for a person who wants to reside in the country temporarily.
If you are applying for this type of visa, you have to follow the general steps which include; paying the fees, scheduling the interview, submitting supporting documents, attending their interview as well as submitting Form DS-160.
Petition-based visas are directly the opposite of Non-petition based visas, you need an employer or someone from the US to petition for you if you want to live and work in the US temporarily.
Here, your employer must submit a petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the US Department of State, or the US Homeland Department before you can proceed to submit your Form DS-160. Furthermore, depending on the visa, the petitioner is expected to pay a fee for the petition.
Aside from these two types of non-immigrant visas we mentioned – the petition and non-petition based non-immigrant visas, there are also other categories and fees that must be paid, and they are:
- If you are a Mexican citizen who is more than 15 years old, you have to pay 160.00 USD for the Border Crossing Card while for those below the age of 15 years, the fee is 16.00 USD.
- 500.00 USD is to be paid by L visa petitioners, the fee is for fraud detection and prevention
- 4,500.00 USD is to be paid by H visa petitioners, the fee is for petitioning the US institutions to bring a foreign temporary worker to the United States.
Below are the costs for a non-immigrant visa:
|Visa type||Cost of visa|
|Non-petition Based Visas||160 USD|
|Petition Based Visas||190 USD|
|E Visas||205 USD|
|K Visas||265 USD|
Below are the application fees for each US nonimmigrant visa:
|Type of visa||Fee in USD||Category|
|US Visitor Visas which includes B-1 visa and B-2 visa||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|C-1 visa for transits to the US||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|D visa for airline or ship crewmembers||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|F visa for students and academics||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|I visa for media and journalists||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|J visa for exchange visitors (excluding those applicants funded by the US government)||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|M visa for vocational students||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|TN TD visa for NAFTA professionals||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|T visa for victims of human trafficking||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|U visa for victims of criminal activity||160 USD||Non-Petition Based Visa|
|H visas for temporary workers which includes H-1B visa,H-2A visa, H-1B1 visa, H-2B visa, H-4 visa and H-3 visa||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|L visas issued for intracompany transfers (L-1 visa, L-2 visa)||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|O visas issued to persons with special abilities (O-1 visa, O-2 visa, O-3 visa)||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|P visa designated for athletes, artists, and performers in general||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|Q visa issued for international cultural exchanges||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|R visa issued to religious workers||190 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|E visa issued to investors and traders (E-1 visa, E-2 visa, E-3 visa)||205 USD||Petition Based Visa|
|K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a citizen of the United States||265.00 USD||Petition Based Visa|
Are there fees that are not necessary for US nonimmigrant visas?
In any of the instances listed below, you are not required to pay a fee if:
- You apply for diplomatic and A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO visas .
- You are a J visa applicant funded by the government of the United States.
- Your original visa wasn’t well stamped, you don’t have to pay to replace a machine-readable visa especially when it’s not your fault.
- You are a member or part of international agreements like members of staff of the UN Headquarters including their families.
- You are traveling for the purpose of charity.
- You are an employee of the US government traveling for authorized business.
- If you are a family member; spouse, parents, children, and siblings of an employee of the US government who was killed in the line of duty, and you are traveling to attend the funeral or burial.
All about US Nonimmigrant Visa Reciprocity Fees
Firstly, note that this fee applies only to non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas do not have reciprocity fees. That being said, it is safe to say that this is yet another deciding factor of how much a visa to the USA is for the nonimmigrant category. Reciprocity fees are best described as fees for issuing the visa and for border crossing cards.
Not all non-immigrants pay the same reciprocity fee as the fees depend on the country you are living presently and applying from, and also the type of passport that you have. In addition to this, you must pay this fee before the US Embassy gives you back your passport.
However, there are certain scenarios where you don’t have to pay a reciprocity fee and such situations are;
- If you are a part of international agreements like members of staff of the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly, including your families.
- If you are traveling to the UN Headquarters.
- If you are a part of a US government-funded program including your partner and children.
- If you are traveling for purpose of charity.
All about US Immigrant Visa Fees.
These types of visas permit you to permanently live and work in the United States and the fees for the immigrant visas are both for petitions and processing fees.
Below are the fees for the petitions:
- $535.00 for Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Relative
- $775.00 for Form I-600 or Form I-800, Orphan Immediate Relative Petition
While the processing fees depend on the visa type you are applying for, and they are stated below:
- In addition to the petition, Immediate Relative or Family Preference Immigration Applications cost $325.00
- In addition to the petition, Employment-Based Immigration Applications cost $345.00
- Other immigration applications like self-petitioning cost $205.00
- K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen costs $265.00
- Some Afghan or Iraqi special immigrant applications costs nothing
Also, the US citizen sponsors who can certify that they are capable of sponsoring the applicant until they are able to work within the country have to pay $120.00 for Affidavit of Support.
All about US Diversity Visa Fees
Do you want to try your luck and know if you can be picked for the US visa by luck? This US Diversity Visa or Lottery is for you. Interestingly, the only fee required of you is the sign-up fee which is $330.00 and must be paid before you can submit your application online.
After making payments, you can sign up within November which is the normal period for signing up then the US institutions decide on how many winners of the visa to select yearly.
In conclusion, if you intend to apply for a US visa, it is necessary for you to have an estimate of the amount you are expected to pay so that you won’t stop halfway because of financial constraints. Please also note that the prices are bound to change and we will do well to update you if need be.