There’s no simple answer to the question of how much a U.S. visa costs. How much you’ll pay depends on different factors like the type of visa you’re applying for and whether you have a sponsor. Understanding the total amount of fees you’ll pay can be complicated, but you can get an idea of the different fees associated with each type of visa application below. 

visa application fees

Nonimmigrant Visa Costs

Typically, the application fee for a non-petitioned nonimmigrant visa is $185; petitioned nonimmigrant visas cost $205. Most nonimmigrant visas don’t require a petition, including tourists, students, and journalists. Consular costs are higher for petitioned visa applications including a fee paid by the petitioning employer. Those applying for a petitioned nonimmigrant visa include athletes, temporary workers, and performing artists. A few special exceptions apply to the petitioned category, such as fiance(e) or spouse of a U.S. citizen, and come with a higher consular fee. Those crossing the U.S./Mexico border are required to pay a border crossing fee of $185 for Mexican citizens 15 and over or $15 for those under age 15. 

Other Fees

Who is Exempt From Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees?

Some nonimmigrant visa applicants are exempt from application fees. These visas are reserved for government workers, diplomats, and those traveling for charitable purposes. Additionally, those whose visas weren’t stamped properly – and it wasn’t their fault – are exempt from a fee when applying for a replacement visa. 

Immigrant Visa Costs

Immigrant visas come at a higher cost because they require more paperwork, take more time to process, and have more requirements to fulfill. Most immigrant visas require a petitioner who also must pay a fee during the application process. Cases that require a petition include:

  • Immigrant Petition for a Relative: $675
  • Adoption of Orphan by Immediate Relative: $775

In addition to petition fees, the visa seeker must file an application fee. Different visa categories have different fees.

  • Immediate Relative and Family Preference Application: $325
  • Employee-Based Applications: $345
  • Other (Returning Residents, Self-Petitioners, Etc.) $205

Some special cases come with additional fees, while others have no application fee at all. Diversity lottery applications are required to pay an additional $330 fee, while an Affidavit of Support Review fee comes to $120. Exceptions to application fee requirements include some special immigrant visa applicants from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, additional fees are associated with form processing services. 

  • Form DS-117 Application for Determining Returning Resident Status: $180
  • Form DS-3035 J Waiver: $120
  • Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Visa Ineligibility: $930
  • Transportation Letter for Legal Residents of the U.S.: $575

Discuss Your Visa Application with an Immigration Lawyer

Paying the correct fees to the proper department is key to a successful visa application. An immigration lawyer can help you throughout the visa application process so you understand what to expect during each step. Increase your chances of a visa approval by getting help from an experienced immigration lawyer, starting with a consultation.  Contact CoxEsq., P.C. today to learn more about how our law team can help you with your visa application.