The United State of America visa is not free, there different types of US visas, costs and application fee that you are required to pay. The amount of these visas varies depending on the type and also the country you are from.
You are required to pay for US nonimmigrant visas, US diversity visas as well as the US immigrant visas. These are application fees, there is also reciprocity fee. There are costs those applying from other countries will have to pay and they are called Reciprocity fees. The amount varies depending on the relationship these countries have with the US vice versa.
US Nonimmigration Visa Application Fee
There are several types of US nonimmigrant visas and there are also different fees associated with these visas. For better understanding on how much these US visas application fees are, they are divided into petition based visas and non-petition based visas.
|Petition Based Visa||$190|
|Non-petition Based Visa||$160|
Fees for Petition and Non-petition Based Visas
Petition based visas are those types of visas that require someone or an employer from the US to petition for the applicant that wants to temporarily live and work in the United States. The employer or anyone in the US must first of all submit a petition to the US Citizenship and immigration Service (USCIS), the US Homeland Department or the US Department of State. The employer or someone petitioning the US must also pay a fee for the petition and this fee vary depending on the type of visa
Non-petition based visa are those kind of visa that do not need someone or an employer in the US to petition for the person that wants to temporarily live in the US. All the applicant need to do is to submit Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application, then follow the usual steps, scheduling the interview, submitting supporting and necessary documents, and attending their interview. Below are the application fees for each US nonimmigrant Visa
|Visa Type||Fees in USD||Category|
|H visas for temporarily workers (H-1B visa, H-1B1 visa, H-2A visa, H-2B visa, H-3 visa, H-4 visa)||$190||Petition Based|
|L visas for intracompany transfers (L-1 visa, L-2 visa)||$190||Petition Based|
|O visas for persons with extraordinary abilities (O-1 visa, O-2 visa, O-3 visa)||$190||Petition Based|
|P visa for athletes, entertainers and artists||$190||Petition Based|
|Q visa for international cultural exchange||$190||Petition Based|
|R visa for religious workers||$190||Petition Based|
|E visa for traders and investors (E-1 visa, E-2 visa, E-3 visa)||$205||Petition Based|
|K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen||$265||Petition Based|
|US visitor Visas (B-1 visa, and B-2 visa)||$160||Non-petition Based|
|C-1 visa for transit to the US||$160||Non-petition Based|
|D visa for airline or ship crewmembers||$160||Non-petition Based|
|F visa for students and academics||$160||Non-petition Based|
|I visa for media and journalists||$160||Non-petition Based|
|J visa for exchange visitors (excluding those applicants sponsored by the US government)||$160||Non-petition Based|
|M visa for vocational students||$160||Non-petition Based|
|TN TD visa for NAFTA professionals||$160||Non-petition Based|
|T visa for victims or human trafficking||$160||Non-petition Based|
|U visa for victims of criminal activity||$160||Non-petition Based|
Aside the non-petition and petition based visas, there are also other fees and categories that must be paid, and they are;
For those petitioning for the L visa, there are required to also pay a fee of $500 for fraud detection and prevention.
For the Border Crossing Card for Mexican Citizens, applicants over the age of 15 are required to pay an application fee of $160 while for those under 15 years of age are to pay $16
For those petitioning for the H visa, they are required to pay a fee of $4,500, this is for petitioning the US institutions to bring in a foreign temporary worker into the country.
Situations when you do not need to pay fees for US nonimmigrant visas
There are some certain situations when applicants do not need to pay a fee, below the situations;
For a J visa applicant sponsored by the United States government
When you apply for NATO, A, G, C-2, C-3, and diplomatic visas.
To replace a machine-readable visa when the original one was not well stamped and it was not the fault of the applicant
For applicants that are part of the international agreement like members of the staff of the UN Headquarters and their families
For US government employees that are traveling for official business
For applicants that are traveling for charity purposes
For spouse, parents, siblings and children of a US government employee who was killed in the line of duty and their family is traveling to attend the burial or funeral
US Nonimmigrant Visa Reciprocity Fees
Reciprocity fee is a factor that determines how much a US visa cost for the nonimmigrant category. These fees are for border crossing cards and for issuing the visa. Notwithstanding, immigrant visas do not have reciprocity fees only the non-immigrant visas that do.
The country you are currently residing and applying for the US visa and as well as the passport that you have determines the reciprocity fee. The reciprocity fee must be paid before you get your passport back from the US Embassy.
There are certain situations when an applicant applying for non-immigrant visas do not have to pay a reciprocity fee, these situations are;
Applicants traveling for charity purposes
Applicants that are part of international agreements such as the UN General Assembly, and their family or members of staff of the UN Headquarters
Applicants transiting to the UN Headquarters.
Applicants that are part of the US government sponsored program and their family members.
US Immigrant Visa Fees
The UN immigrant visas are those type of visas that allows an individual to work and stay in the US permanently. The fees for the immigrant visas are for petitions and processing fees. Below are the petition fees;
Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Relative costs $535
Form I-600 or Form I-800, Orphan Immediate Relative Petition costs $775
As for processing for processing fees, it depends on the type of visa the applicant is applying for; and they are as follows;
Employment-Based Immigration Applications cost $345 in addition to the petition fee
Immediate Relative or Family Preference Immigration Applications cost $325 in addition to the petition fee
Other immigration application (like as self-petitioning) cost $205
K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen costs $265
Certain Afghan or Iraqi special immigrant application is free.
There is a common fee for most immigrant visas, it is the Affidavit of Support, this fee is $120 and it is paid from the US citizen sponsor who can guarantee that they will support the applicant financially until they are settled and can work within the United States.
US Diversity Visa Fees
The US Diversity Visa or Lottery is for individuals that want to try out their luck, to see if they can be selected for a US immigrant visa by chance. The US institutions decide on how many winners of the US DV Lottery to select annually. However, the US Diversity Visa or Lottery is not open to every country but the period of the year for signing up is November, the applications are then reviewed the following year.
The US Diversity visa does not have many fees except for the application or sign-up fee. This is a fee of $330 and must be pad before submitting the application online.
Visa application fee is non-refundable and it can’t be transferred to someone else. After payment for the application fee, you will receive a receipt. Due to the COVID-19 suspension of routine consular operations in early 2020, the US department of state has made effort to restore all routine visa operations as quickly as possible and the Department has temporarily extended the validity of visa application fee to September 30, 2023. Applicants that will not be able to schedule a visa appointment by that date (9/30/2023), the fee will expire and the applicant will forfeit the right to use the fee for a visa application.
How to apply for a US visa?
You must take photographs that meet the US visa photo requirement before beginning the application process. Applicants must upload a digital photograph with their application
Applicants are to complete the DS-160 Form and submit online via the US Department of State website. Then print out the bar-coded confirmation page
Applicants are to pay the non-refundable processing fee online or over the counter at a bank in your local currency. You need to take the receipt with you to the interview.
Applicants are to schedule or book an appoint online or through a Call Center (234) 1 440 6218. The following document is needed when making your appointment;
- Passport Number
- Fee payment receipt purchase date
- The 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Put all your documents and any other important or supporting documents together that may help your application.
Attend your US visa application appointment at the US Consulate General in Lagos or at the US Embassy in Abuja. Please bring the following documents with you to the interview;
- Your current and previous passports
- Appointment confirmation letter
- Barcoded DS-160 confirmation page
- Receipt of the visa application fee
- A color photograph that meets the photo requirements
If your visa application is approved, your passport with the visa will be delivered to the pick-up location you specified when scheduling or booking your appointment or it will be couriered to your chosen address.