How Much Does a US Visa Cost?

When making an application for an American visa, you’ll be required to pay the requisite fees. The amount you need to pay will be determined by the visa classification you are applying for, among other factors.

Note that payment will be made in your local currency and that US visa costs are subject to change, as such you are advised to check before making your application as to how much the full and final costs will be.

How much does a Nonimmigrant US Visa cost?

Machine Readable Visa – MRV

All applicants for US nonimmigrant visas have to pay a visa processing fee, called the MRV. The level of MRV will depend on the visa being applied for:

  • For tourist, business, student & exchange visas – $160
  • Petition-based applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
  • E-1, E-2 & E-3 visa applicants – $205
  • K visas – $265

The MRV is paid on the Applicant Service Center (ASC) website when scheduling your visa interview. The MRV must be paid for by debit card.

It is a non-refundable and non-transferable fee. If your application is refused, you will lose the fee. You are not permitted to transfer the MRV fee for use in another application or for another applicant. There will also be no refund of the MRV fee if you cancel your visa appointment and do not reschedule within 12 months.

US nonimmigrant visas MRV fees:

Visa TypeDescriptionFee Amount (USD)
DShip/Airline Crew$160
ETreaty Trader/Investor, Australian Professional Specialty$205
FStudent (academic)$160
HTemporary/Seasonal Workers and Employment, Trainees$190
IJournalist and Media$160
JExchange Visitor$160
KFiancé(e) or Spouse of U.S. Citizen$265
LIntracompany Transferees$190
MStudent (vocational)$160
OPersons with Extraordinary Ability$190
PAthletes. Artists & Entertainers$190
QInternational Cultural Exchange$190
RReligious Worker$190
TVictim of Human Trafficking$160
UVictim of Criminal Activity$160
TN/TDNAFTA Professionals$160

Visa Issuance ‘Reciprocity’ Fees

Reciprocity fees require nationals of certain countries to pay a fee before their approved visa will be issued.

As the name suggests, these fees are reciprocal and exist where another country requires a fee from US citizens for an equivalent visa class or similar service.

Not all visas will require a reciprocity fee to be paid. If you are applying in person through a pre-arranged appointment, you will be advised whether or not an issuance fee is required. If applying through the Courier Service and your application is successful, the Embassy will notify you by mail that an issuance fee is due.

For British passport holders, the only reciprocity issue fees relate to the L-2 and E-2 visas.

In any of the following circumstances, the reciprocity fee will not apply:

  • Part of international agreements such as members of staff of the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly, and their families
  • Transiting to the UN Headquarters
  • Part of a US government sponsored program and their spouse and children
  • Travelling for charity purposes

H Visas

H visa petitioners should read our article on full petition costs for employers and applicants.

Blanket L-1 Visas

First-time principal applicants who are covered under a blanket petition for L status must pay a Fraud Prevention and Detection fee of US $500. This fee should be paid on the day of the visa interview. If a subsequent L-1 visa application is based on a new Form I-129S, the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee will be due again.

A Border Security Act fee of $4,500 may also apply; your employer will advise if this is the case.


The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) tracks F, M, and J visa participants and their family members until they graduate or conclude their studies.

  • For nonimmigrant students with Form I-20, the SEVIS fee is $200.
  • For most exchange visitors with Form DS-2019, the SEVIS fee is $180.

F, M and J visa principal applicants should check with their US school to ensure their information has been entered into SEVIS. This will require a separate SEVIS fee to be paid in addition to the visa application fee.

Applicants whose program codes begin with G-1, G-2, G-3, G-7 are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.

Exemptions to US visa costs

The following are exempt from processing fees:

  • When you apply for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas
  • For a J visa applicant sponsored by the US government
  • To replace a machine-readable visa when the original visa was not well stamped and it was not the applicant’s fault
  • For applicants who are part of international agreements such as members of staff of the UN Headquarters and their families
  • For applicants travelling for charity purposes
  • For US government employees travelling for official business
  • For parents, siblings, spouse, and children of a US government employee killed in the line of duty, and the family is travelling to attend the funeral or burial

How much does an Immigrant US Visa cost?

The following processing fees for immigrant visas will apply:

Immediate Relative and Family Preference applicants: Immigrant Visa interview and processing fee (forms I-130, I-600 or I-800)$325
Employment-based applicants: Immigrant Visa interview and processing fee (form I-140 petition)$345
Special immigrants: Immigrant Visa interview and processing fee (forms I-360, DS-117 or DS-1884)$205
Diversity Immigrants: Visa Lottery$330
Applicants for Returning Resident Status (form DS-117)$180
Bording Foil (former Transportation Letter)no fee
Filling I-130 Immigrant Visa Petition$420
Filling I-360 application$405
K visa applicants for a fiancé or spouse of a U.S citizen MRV fee $265

Affidavit of Support

An affadavit of support costs $120. The fee is paid by US citizen sponsors who can guarantee that they will support the applicant financially until they are permitted to work in the US.

Medical examinations

Where required, a medical examination will cost $180. DNA tests are $360. Vaccinations and lab test fees will vary on the specific requirement.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. All fees are as at August 2018 and are subject to change.


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