Hyderabad: The U.S. Consular Sections worldwide will introduce a two-tiered fee structure for non-immigrant visas, effective from 4th June 2010. This structured system coincides with a small, global application fee increase designed to balance the costs of recent enhancements to the visa application process.
All applications for business or tourism (B-1/B-2), crew member (C-1/D), student (F or M), or exchange (J) categories will now cost $140 and a white receipt will be issued. Applications for petition-based work visa categories (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) will now cost $150 and a green receipt will be issued. These two receipts will still be purchased at approved HDFC Bank branches. Applications for treaty trader (E) visas will now cost $390 that will continue to be paid at the Consulate General.
Applicants who purchased their receipts before June 4 will pay the balance between the old and new fees at the time of the interview. The previous application fee was $131 for all visas.
The Department of State adopted the tiered system because petition-based applications require significantly more processing than other visa applications. The rate increase is for improvements in the manner and speed with which visa applications are processed, and in particular for fraud-detection efforts. The total fee covers the cost of accepting, adjudicating, and issuing non-immigrant visa applications.
In India alone, the U.S. government has increased consulate staffing by 40% over the last four years, and has invested over $100 million updating and expanding consular facilities. This includes a new Consulate General opened in Hyderabad, renovations to New Delhi consular facilities and a new Consulate General building in Mumbai.
Applicants can read more about these and other changes at http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov/visa_services.html.
Send inquiries to HydNIV@state.gov.