Starting January 1, 2008, the application fee for a U.S. non-immigrant visa will increase from $100 to $131, the Department of State has announced.
Applicants who pay the prior $100 application fee before January 1 will be processed only if they are scheduled and appear for a visa interview at the consulate before January 31.
Applicants who have already paid the $100 application fee and appear for visa interviews after January 31, 2008 must pay the difference of $31 before they will be interviewed by the consular officer.
This increase applies both to non-immigrant visas issued on machine-readable foils in passports and to border crossing cards issued to certain applicants in Mexico.
DOS explains that the fee increase will allow the government to recover the costs of security and other enhancements to the non-immigrant visa application process.
The Department is required by law to attempt to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of the Machine-Readable Visa application fee.
Because of new security-related costs, new information technology systems, and inflation, the $100 Machine-Readable Visa fee is lower than the actual cost of processing non-immigrant visas.
DOS said that a review in 2004 revealed that the $100 fee is lower than the cost of processing non-immigrant visas and the Department has been absorbing the additional cost.
Part of these cost increases are attributed to the new 10-fingerprint collection system. These fingerprints must be reviewed by the FBI and the cost for doing so is charged to DOS.
The application fee has increased twice since September 11, 2001, the last time in 2002.