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$160 US tourist visa fee to take effect April 13

April 11, 2012 4:30pm
Starting April 13, the fees for some nonimmigrant visas — including tourist visas — to the United States will be higher ($160) but those for immigrant visas will be lower.

In a news release on Wednesday, the US Embassy in Manila said there will be lower fees for all immigrant visas, as well as those for fiancé/fianceé visas and trader/investor visas.

However, there will be higher fees for some non-immigrant visas, including tourist, business visas, and student visas, and others.

According to the US Department of State website, the new fees are:

Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor, and Journalist visas



Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R)



Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E)



Fiancé(e) visas (K)



Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older)



Border Crossing Cards (under age 15)



Because of a reallocation of costs associated with immigrant visas, all categories of immigrant visa processing fees will decrease.


Immigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications



Employment-Based Applications



Other Immigrant Visa Applications



Diversity Visa Program Fee



Determining Returning Resident Status



Visa application fees paid before April 13 at the prior rate will be honored through July 12,

Starting on July 13, 2012, applicants who had paid application fees at a prior rate will
have to pay the difference between the prior rate and the new rate.

For visa categories that have reduced fees effective April 13, no refunds will be given to those who paid the fees before the effective date.

For a full listing of the new visa fees, visit the US Embassy Manila website.

New law

The US Embassy said the reduction in the immigrant visa fees was due to a new US law that allows the US Department of State to seek reimbursement from other federal agencies (such as the US Citizenship and Immigration Service).
However, US embassies must collect higher fees for tourist and other types of nonimmigrant visas because US law requires the Department of State to recover the costs of processing those types of visas.

The embassy said the new fees more accurately reflect the costs of visa processing services
determined in a US government study last December. - VVP, GMA News
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