The application fees for various categories of US visas are to go up as of June 4.

A release from the US Embassy in Kingston says the proposed changes are to be implemented on a worldwide basis.

The Embassy says all persons whose interviews fall on or after June 4 will be required to pay visa application fees according to the revised fee schedule.

Applicants with interviews scheduled for June 4 and who have already paid according to the old fee schedule will be required to pay the difference at a branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in order for their cases to be processed.

Based on the new fee schedule, Nonimmigrant visa application fees will now range from US$140 to US$390 per person.

The B1/B2 visitor’s visa application fee will now cost US$140 up from US$131.

The fees for Crewmember and student visas will also now cost US$140, while the new fee for the Treaty Trader/Investor (E1 or E2) is US$390.

Meanwhile, the fees for petition based visas such as temporary skilled workers (H-1B), temporary seasonal workers (H-2B), Intra-company transferees (L1) and Performers (O and P) will now cost US$150.

The fee for fiancé-based visas is now at US$350.

Although the treaty trader (E1) and treaty investor (E2) visa classes are not petition-based, they will now be set at US$390. The new, higher fees for E and K visas will more accurately reflect the real cost of processing these document-intensive visa categories.

A recent cost-analysis survey conducted by an independent entity contracted by the Department of State found that US Consular Sections around the world recover only 94 per cent of their operating costs through visa-related fees.

The resulting US$5.4 million monthly shortfall has been borne by US taxpayers rather than the applicants who receive the relevant services. Therefore, the new fee schedule will be introduced on a world-wide basis in an effort to capture the costs of processing these visa categories.

As always, the goal of every US Consular Section is to facilitate legitimate travel while promoting the security of the United States and its citizens.

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[Post made via Go-Jamaica]