US Visa

US Visa Fees: Understanding the Cost of Applying for a US Visa

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Obtaining a US visa is a significant step for individuals aspiring to visit the United States for various purposes, such as tourism, business, education, or employment. While the application process itself can be complex, it is equally important to understand the associated costs. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand the various fees involved in applying for a US visa, enabling you to plan your finances accordingly.


Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees

Nonimmigrant visas are intended for temporary visits to the US, such as tourism, business meetings, or attending conferences. The fees for nonimmigrant visa applications vary depending on the visa category. Here are a few examples of popular nonimmigrant visa types and their associated fees:

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa: The fee for a B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visa is $160. These visas typically allow a stay of up to six months in the US.
  • F-1 Student Visa: Aspiring students need to pay a fee of $160 to apply for an F-1 student visa. Additionally, applicants are required to pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee, which is $350.
  • H-1B Work Visa: The H-1B visa is for foreign workers employed in specialized occupations. The visa application fee for H-1B is $190. Employers sponsoring H-1B applicants may also need to pay additional fees, such as the H-1B training fee.

It’s important to note that visa fees are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the most up-to-date fee structure on the official U.S. Department of State website or consult with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Immigrant Visa Application Fees

If you intend to permanently reside in the United States, you will need to apply for an immigrant visa. The costs associated with immigrant visa applications are different from nonimmigrant visas and vary based on the specific visa category. Here are a few examples:

  • Family-Based Immigration: The fees for family-based immigrant visas depend on the specific relationship to the petitioner. The application fee for immediate relatives (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years of age) is $325, while for other family-sponsored preference categories, the fee is $345.
  • Employment-Based Immigration: Employment-based immigrant visas also vary in terms of fees. The fee for an employment-based immigrant visa application ranges from $345 to $405, depending on the specific category.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery: The Diversity Visa Lottery (DV) program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, offers a chance for individuals from eligible countries to obtain permanent residency in the United States. There is no fee to enter the DV Lottery. However, if selected, applicants must pay the required immigrant visa application fees.


Additional Fees and Services

Apart from the visa application fees, there are certain additional fees and services that may apply depending on your specific circumstances. These include:

Biometric Services Fee: In some cases, applicants may be required to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and photographs, as part of the application process. The Biometric Services Fee is $85 and is applicable for certain visa categories.

Premium Processing Fee: For certain employment-based visas, such as the H-1B, employers have the option to pay an additional fee for expedited processing. The current premium processing fee is $1,440.

Visa Appointment Booking Fee: Some U.S. embassies or consulates utilize third-party service providers to schedule visa appointments. These service providers may charge a separate fee for their services.


Understanding the cost of applying for a US visa is crucial for effective financial planning. Visa fees can vary depending on the visa category, the purpose of the visit, and other factors. It’s essential to research and stays up-to-date with the latest fee structure and requirements published by the U.S. Department of State or consult with the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate. Remember, visa fees are non-refundable, even if the application is denied. Hence, it’s essential to carefully review the eligibility criteria and application requirements before initiating the visa application process. By being well-informed about the costs involved, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free application experience while pursuing your aspirations in the United States.

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