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E VISA ISSUANCE FEES SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE

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”, that is what another country charges a U.S. citizen for a similar type of visa. When a 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. The amount of time (validity period) an E visa can be granted for depends on reciprocity as well.

Recently the US State Department increased visa reciprocity fees and adjusted validity periods for several countries in Europe including Belgium, France, Spain, Norway, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands. This is in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, which requested that the U.S. Department of State undertake a worldwide review of reciprocity arrangements and to update any discrepancies.

Changes are especially significant for Dutch E visa applicants. Reciprocity length for E visas has decreased from 60 months to 36 months.  The visa reciprocity fee which was previously none is now $2228 per applicant. In addition, the reciprocity fee for French citizens remained at none but the visa reciprocity length decreased to 25 months. For citizens of Spain the reciprocity fee increased to $234, but the visa reciprocity length remained at 60 months.

Visa reciprocity fees have to be paid for all applicants. If a family of 4 is applying for E-2 visas (1 main investor with an investor spouse and 2 investor children), it means that the applicant must pay the fee of $2228 four times. Visa reciprocity is also determined by the main applicant– meaning if the spouse of the E applicant is of a different nationality, the spouse must also pay the same reciprocity fee as the main applicant.

The reciprocity fee must be paid upon issuance of the US visa and is in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee (MRV fee). For more information, please see the U.S. Department of State reciprocity schedule: https://travel.state.gov

Please do not hesitate to reach out to VisaVersa or our US partner McCown & Evans with any questions about this new change.

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