US Visa Fees Goes up by $31


Washington, DC: The US State Department announced on Thursday it was raising the fees of most visas for foreign visitors to the United States by more than 30 percent. The move is aimed at helping pay for increased security measures for visitors, especially costs relating to the fingerprinting of foreign visitors, the department said in a statement.
Starting January 1, the fees of a tourism, business, student or temporary employment visa goes up from $100 to $131, the statement said. The $100 fee “was already lower than the cost of processing non-immigrant visas when the fee was reviewed as a part of the cost of service study in 2004”, it said. It added that the State Department “has been absorbing the additional cost”.
US officials “are now collecting 10 fingerprints from each applicant, and the cost charged by the FBI to review those fingerprints no longer allows us to do this.” US immigration officials began recently taking prints from all of the visitor’s fingers at the Dulles-Washington International Airport, just outside the US capital. The program is scheduled to be fully implemented at all US international airports by the end of 2008. Requests for visas filed before January 1 shall be honored at the previous fees of $100 only if the candidates go in person to their respective US consulates before January 31. After then, those requesting visas must pay the extra $31 even if they filed the request before January 1, the State Department said.

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