The Department of State has proposed changes and increases to its schedule of fees for consular services, to take effect "as soon as practicable following the expiration of the 30-day public comment period" and after the Department has considered any public comments received. Written comments must be received within 30 days from February 9, 2010.
Among other things, the proposed rule establishes a tiered application processing fee for immigrant visas depending on the category, instead of the current $355 fee for all immigrant visas. The application fee for an employment-based visa processed on the basis of an I-140 petition will be $720. Other immigrant visa applications (including for diversity visa applicants, I-360 self-petitioners, special immigrant visa applicants and all others) will have a fee of $305. Certain qualifying Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants are statutorily exempt from paying a processing fee. The application fee for a family-based visa processed on the basis of an I-130, I-600, or I-800 petition will be $330. The Department is also increasing the immigrant visa security surcharge from $45 to $74.
Those who apply for immigrant visas on the basis of having been selected by the diversity visa lottery will pay $440 instead of $375, based on an estimated 81,000 applications to be processed in fiscal year 2010.
Also, the proposed rule increases the adult passport application fee from $55 to $70. Certain consular services performed for no fee have been included in the fee schedule "so that members of the public will be aware of significant consular services provided by the Department for which they will not be charged." Nonimmigrant visa fees, including those for machine-readable visas and border crossing cards, were included in a separate rule published on December 14, 2009.
The proposed rule, which was published on February 9, 2010, is available HERE.
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