U.S. Embassy Announces Visa Fee Increases

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Press Release – U.S. Embassy in Belize – May 27, 2010 – The United States Embassy in Belmopan, Belize wishes to alert all visa applicants that the United States Government will be increasing visa fees worldwide, including Belize, effective Friday, June 4, 2010.

All persons with interviews on or after June 4, 2010 must pay the new fees. Applicants with appointments after June 4 who have already paid the old fee must pay the additional amount at the Embassy’s consular cashier on the day of their appointment in order to be interviewed.

New fee schedule:
• Visitor and Transit (B1/B2, C1) – BZ$280
• Crewmember (C1/D) – BZ$280
• Student visas (F1, M1, J1) – BZ$280
• Temporary workers (H-1B, H-2B) – BZ$300
• Intra-company transferees (L1) – BZ$300
• Performers (O and P) – BZ$300
• Fiancé-based visas (K) – BZ$700
• Treaty Trader/Investor (E1 or E2) – BZ$780

The Department of State is required by law to recover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of visa fees. Periodically, independent contractors conduct a Cost of Service Study to determine direct and indirect costs to the U.S. Government of providing consular services, such as nonimmigrant visa processing. Such a study was completed in June 2009 using an activity-based costing model, which is standard for estimating the cost of government services.

The study determined that the cost of accepting, adjudicating, and issuing nonimmigrant visas will be greater than US$131 in Fiscal Year 2010, which began October 1, 2009. Also, since the last fee increase in 2008, there have been new security-related costs, new IT systems have been put in place, and there is a new mandate from Congress to charge nonimmigrant visa applicants $1 to support programs to combat trafficking in persons.
Although the treaty trader (E1) and treaty investor (E2) visa classes are not petition-based, they will now be set at US$390 to reflect the real cost of processing document-intensive visa categories.

For more information please visit the US Embassy website at http://belize.usembassy.gov

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