What are the fees for obtaining a visa?
When applying for a visa to the United States there are mandatory fees to pay to validate the application. This fee is called the MRV fee, which stands for “Machine Readable Visa”, commonly referred to as the visa fee. These fees are paid upon validation of the visa application.
For stays of less than 90 days in the United States: You don’t need to apply for a visa. You can simply apply for ESTA via the Internet. ESTA is an Electronic Travel Authorization issued by the United States. To obtain your certificate in a few minutes click on the online form.
Who is affected by these fees?
The fees for applying for a visa for the United States apply to all foreign citizens wishing to stay in the United States, regardless of age. These fees are non-refundable. The visa application fee must be paid whether or not a visa is issued. The type of visa you apply for determines the amount of the fee.
Amount of fees for a USA visa application
The fees to be paid when applying for a visa depend on the type of visa requested. Since June 17, 2023, the amount payable has changed. From now on, you’ll need to pay US$185 for most different types of visa, such as B1 business visas, B2 tourist visas, exchange visas and so on.
Some visas have higher application fees, as is the case for work visa applications for example, which now cost US$205. Here is a detailed list of visa application fees by type of visa:
|Type of visa||Description||Consular fees|
|B||Business / Tourism||185 $|
|D||Ship / Airline crew||185 $|
|E||Trader / Investor, Australian Professional Specialty||315 $|
|F||Student (academic)||185 $|
|H||Temporary / seasonal workers and employment, interns||205 $|
|I||Journalist and media||185 $|
|J||Exchange visitor||185 $|
|K||Fiancé(e) or spouse of U.S. citizen||265 $|
|L||Intra-group transferees||205 $|
|M||Student (professional)||185 $|
|O||People with extraordinary abilities||205 $|
|P||Athletes. Artists and performers||205 $|
|Q||International cultural exchange||205 $|
|R||Religious worker||205 $|
|T||Victim of human trafficking||185 $|
|U||Victim of criminal activity||185 $|
|TN / TD||NAFTA Professionals||185 $|
For detailed information on visa fees, please consult this page on the U.S. Department of State website.
How to pay the visa fee
Payment of fees by bank transfer
You can pay your fees by using your online bank account and making a direct bank transfer. This payment process can be administered online. The amount of the fee is indicated in dollars. Payment can be made in any local currency, from any major bank in the world.
The amount to be paid in another currency is indicated on the web page during the application process. Amounts in currencies other than US dollars are based on the consular exchange rate determined by the US Department of State. You must pay the exact amount calculated in your local currency.
Cash payment with a deposit slip
Visa applicants may pay their application fee in cash only at partner banks accredited by the U.S. consular administration of the country in which they are located. These fees are paid by means of a deposit slip for the exact amount of the fee to be paid.
Processing time for visa fee payment
The next step after payment of the visa application fee is to make an appointment with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate using the CGI reference number or transaction number obtained during payment validation. Therefore, once your payment has been processed, you will know when it will be possible to schedule your interview with the U.S. consular authorities.
|Method of payment||Delay in scheduling the interview at the US Embassy or Consulate|
|Online payment||Immediately after confirmation of the payment made online|
|Payment in cash||5 hours after payment if paid before 6pm, or 10am the next business day if paid after 6pm|
Limitations related to the payment of visa fees
There is no contract with the visa applicant. The visa applicant is not guaranteed a successful application. No refunds are possible regardless of the outcome of the application.
Once you have paid the fee you will receive a receipt of payment. This numbered receipt attests to the proper payment of your registration fee. The receipt is valid for 1 year, so you must make an appointment at the American embassy for your interview before the 1 year period expires.
This fee payment is personal and attached to a single visa application. It is not transferable, it is attached to an individual on a single application. It cannot be used or transferred for another visa application.
If you do not use the receipt for 1 year, the fees paid are lost. You will no longer be able to use the receipt as proof of payment of the fee and you will not be able to obtain an appointment with the U.S. consular authorities with this invalid receipt. Your initial unused payment will be cancelled. The payment of this fee will be non-refundable for any reason.
You may not resume the visa application process after the fee receipt has expired. To obtain your visa you will have to restart the whole process and pay the fees again.
Visa application fee waiver
There are certain cases of visa applications for which there is exceptionally no fee. These exceptions mainly concern:
- Visas requested for official or diplomatic travel. This applies mainly to A, G, C-2, C-3, diplomatic visas and NATO missions.
- J visas to participate in educational and cultural exchanges sponsored by the U.S. government
Are there any other additional fees?
In exceptional cases, additional visa fees must be paid directly to the U.S. Consulate. This is the case for:
- Reciprocal Fees: When a foreign government charges U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the U.S. charges “reciprocal” fees to citizens of that country for similar types of visas;
- The SEVIS fee is payable in addition to the visa application fee by students applying for F, M and J visas. The amount varies from US$220 to US$350.