The US embassy in Islamabad has recently announced a hike in visa fees for Pakistani applicants across various categories. This development, shared via an official tweet on Wednesday, states that the new fee structure will implemented from June 17th this year.
According to the embassy, the fees for visitor visas and other non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) will raised from $160 to $185. Additionally, the application fees for petition-based visas, including H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories, will increase from $190 to $205. Applicants seeking E visas will experience a significant fee adjustment, as the current fee of $205 will raised to $315 from June 17th.
The authorities have clarified that all nonimmigrant visa application fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, will remain valid for 365 days from the date of receipt. During this period, applicants must either schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application. It is important for applicants to adhere to this 365-day timeframe while planning their interview or submitting a waiver application.
It should noted that there is no requirement for the interview itself to occur within the 365-day period. Receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, have extended until September 30, 2023, and will remain valid until this date.
The US Department of State had previously announced the fee hike in March, citing the use of Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to determine the cost of providing consular services, including visa services. The fees for most non-petition-based NIVs last updated in 2012, while certain other NIV fees last changed in 2014.
The proposed fees calculated based on a 10-year average of past and projected usage, although the Department acknowledges that the travel environment can experience drastic changes, as seen during the pandemic. The final rule received a total of 328 comments, out of which 94 were duplicates. Some concerns raised included the potential impact on international education and the fear that the fee hike might discourage students from pursuing education in the United States.
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