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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 9, 2002

Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee Increased

Effective November 1, 2002, the U.S. Department of State is raising the worldwide nonimmigrant visa fee to $100. Currently $65, this application processing fee is charged for all nonimmigrant visa and border crossing card applications. This adjustment will bring the fee into line with the actual costs of administering nonimmigrant visas services.

The State Department has congressional authorization to fund the Departmentís Border Security Program with user fees. These fees are adjusted periodically to reflect the actual cost of the program. Added security screening procedures, restrictions on the role of support staff, and further increases in management oversight have added to the cost of nonimmigrant visa processing. The Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee was introduced in 1994 and is the programís primary source of revenue.

The Department is facing a critical revenue shortfall because the current $65 fee simply does not recover the full cost of service. In consultation with the White Houseís Office of Management and Budget, the Department determined that the shortfall should be met by an increase in the fee rather than by an appropriation of U.S. tax revenues. Because of lowered applicant volume and the budget required to administer the Border Security Program, a fee of $100 is necessary to recover costs.


Released on October 9, 2002