US Increases Visa Application Fees for Students By 15%

United States North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Apr 04, 2023

US visa

The US Department of State has announced increases in visa application processing fees for a number of non-immigrant visa categories, including students.

The increases will affect visitor visas issued for business or tourism purposes and other categories, such as student and exchange visitor visas, the price of which will increase by 15 percent, from $160 to $185, Erudera.com reports.

In a media release issued on March 28, the Department said that these increases were announced in the Federal Register at the end of March and will take effect on May 30, 2023.

“The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States for both immigrant and nonimmigrant travelers,” the press release reads.

Furthermore, the fee for temporary workers will increase by nearly eight percent, from $190 to $205, while those for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation will no longer pay $205, but a total of $315.

The change will not apply to other consular fees, including a waiver of the two-year residency fee that certain exchange visitors are required to pay.

The Department said that work and tourism visas are an integral part of US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, highlighting the important role international travel has for the US economy.

Earlier last month, authorities said students would be permitted to apply for the F and M student visas up to one year in advance. Previously, overseas students were allowed to submit visa applications only 120 days before beginning their studies at a US institution.

At the same time, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the facilitation of online form processing for certain F-1 students last month.

The expansion of premium processing, it said, applies to students interested in Optional Practical Training (OPT) and students on F-1 visas who seek science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions and have a pending Application for Employment Authorization (I-765 Forms), used to apply for employment authorization in the US.

In a statement issued on March 6, USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said the availability of premium processing for several student visa applicants would not only ease the online form processing but also streamline the immigration experience for many international students.

“The ongoing expansion of online filing is a priority for USCIS as we continue to create operational efficiencies and increase access to the immigration system for stakeholders, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and those we serve,” USCIS Director said.

The US is the most popular choice for students wishing to pursue education abroad. In the 2021/22 academic year, the country bounced back from pandemic days, recording a slight increase of nearly four percent in international student enrollment.

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