Tuesday, June 1, 2010

From USA Embassy

U.S. visa fees set to increase on June 4th, 2010

On June 4th, the United States will increase the Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee for nonimmigrant visas. The fee increase applies to applicants worldwide who are seeking to obtain a nonimmigrant visa, and has been adjusted to ensure sufficient resources to meet the growing cost of nonimmigrant visa processing. Different categories of nonimmigrant visas will have different fees, depending on their respective processing costs (please see our website for more information about how this cost was determined). For example, the MRV fee for K visas (fiancé visas) will be $350. The MRV fee for B1-B2 (tourists and business travelers, among others) will be $140, increase from $131. Visa applicants are required to pay the new processing fee in advance whether or not the visa is granted. People that have already paid fees for appointments on or after June 4th will be required to adhere to the new fees.

The fee increase is based on a Cost of Service Study which was completed in June of 2009. The study reported that the costs of nonimmigrant visa services in Fiscal Year 2010 will exceed the current $131 fee. The study showed that certain categories of NIVs are more complicated and time intensive than most other categories of nonimmigrant visas because they require a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. Also, since the last fee increase in 2008, there have been new security-related costs, new IT systems have been put in place, and there is a new mandate from Congress to charge nonimmigrant visa applicants $1 to support programs to combat trafficking in persons.

Applicants should visit the U.S. embassy website in English http://cambodia.usembassy.gov/visas.html or in Khmer http://khmer.cambodia.usembassy.gov/visas.html for more information on how to pay the difference and to check fee increases in other visa categories.

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