Fees Raised for Nonimmigrant, Immigrant Visa Applications; BCCs
The Department of State has published an interim final rule (PDF, HTML version), effective January 1, 2008, that raises from $100 to $131 the fee charged to process an application for a nonimmigrant machine-readable visa (MRV) and Border Crossing Card (BCC). Applicants who paid the prior $100 application fee before January 1 will be processed only if they are scheduled and appear for a visa interview on or before January 31. Applicants who paid the prior $100 application fee and appear for visa interviews after January 31, 2008, must pay the difference ($31) before they will be interviewed. The rule also increases the immigrant visa fee by $20, to $355.
The Department said it is adjusting the fees “as an emergency measure to ensure that sufficient resources are available to meet the costs of processing nonimmigrant and immigrant visas in light of increased security measures put in place since 2004 and fee collection mandates on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The primary reason for increasing the fees, the Department noted, is that in January 2008, the Department “will begin paying fees to the FBI for checking the fingerprints against the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and for running visa applicant names through Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) processes.”
The estimated total increase in cost for nonimmigrant visa applicants is $310 million ($31 per applicant, with an estimated 10,000,000 applicants). The estimated total increase in cost for immigrant visa applicants is $14 million ($20 per applicant, with an estimated 700,000 applicants).