Selected U.S. Visa Issuance Fees Sharply Increase for Australian Nationals

When applying for a visa to enter the United States, individuals from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their visa application is approved by the U.S. Consulate. These fees are based on “reciprocity”, i.e. what another country charges a U.S. citizen for a similar-type of visa. When foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a “reciprocal” fee on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.

On December 23, 2019, the reciprocity schedule for Australia was revised for certain nonimmigrant visa categories. These changes increase the reciprocity fee for certain visas commensurate to those the government of Australia imposes on U.S. citizens. Under the new reciprocity schedule, fees for E-1, E-2, F-1, F-2, H-1B, H-4, L-1, L-2, R-1 and R-2 visas have increased significantly. In addition to these fee increases, the visa validity of L-1, L-2, R-1 and R-2 visas has been decreased, while the validity of B-1 and B-2 visas has increased.

Please note that E-3 visas for Australian nationals working in specialized knowledge occupations are not affected by this revision.

Under the new reciprocity fee schedule, visa issuance fees have increased from $105 per applicant to the following, much higher amounts for the below visa types:

–           E-1/E-2: now $3,574 per applicant

–           L-1/L-2: now $1,790 per applicant

–           H-1B/H-4: now $1,295 per applicant

This is in addition to the standard visa application (MRV) fees that all nationalities must pay.

For more information, please see the U.S. Department of State reciprocity schedule and the U.S. visa application website, USTaveldocs:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to McCown & Evans with any questions about this new change.