The U.S. Department of State published its new consular fees on June 28, 2010. Fees for a number of consular services – including immigrant visas and passports – will be affected by the changes. Now, applicants will be paying more for the services. The new consular fees will be charged starting on July 13, 2010, so anyone who is about to apply for an immigrant visa or passport might want to send their application in at once, before the fees increase.
The increased fees will affect 17 different fees at the 23 US passport agencies, 301 overseas consular offices, as well as other agencies providing consular services to the US. The U.S. Department of State has decided to increase its consular fees after the Bureau of Consular Affairs published its Cost of Service Study in June 2009. The study examined the actual cost of these services, allowing the U.S. Department of State to adjust its fees to reflect the cost of the work being completed. In many cases, costs increased while the costs of some services will actually drop.
Among the consular services affected are immigrant and non-immigrant visas. For example, The Application Processing Fee for a family-based immigrant visa will drop to $330 from the current $355 fee. The cost of an employment-based immigrant visa, however, will increase dramatically from the current $355 to $720. Other immigrant visas (including SIVs and DVs) will see Application Processing Fees drop from $355 to $305. Security Surcharges on immigrant visas will also be affected by the new fees, increasing from $45 to $74 on July 13. The Diversity Visa Lottery surcharge will increase from $375 to $440. In addition, passport fees will also increase or change. Fees for adult passport books will jump from $100 to $135 while the fees for minors will increase to $105 from $85. An adult passport book renewal will now be $110 instead of the current $75. The fee for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad will increase from $65 to $100. The U.S. Department of State website includes a full list of fee changes.
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