HAVANA TIMES, April 13 — Starting today, the US State Department will begin charging new, consular fees for visa applications, reported Washington’s Interests Section office in Havana. The measure is worldwide at all US consulates.
While the new rates will mean an additional expense for those seeking visitor (non-immigrant) visas (which has now increased to $160 from the previous $140), the new rates will also mean a $100 reduction for immigrants and will also benefit those people traveling with investor and work visas.
Residents of south Florida who have applications in process for family members on the island will now pay 40 percent less than they were previously required to pay.
According to information disclosed by the Café Fuerte website, the measure will have a direct negative impact on requests made for Cuban artists, athletes and students who are invited to participate in cultural and academic exchanges. Likewise for family visits.
The amount of money coming into the US Interests Section and consulates in other countries appears to be an excellent business. For example, if 250 people request a visitors visa on a given day at the new price of $160 a head, the income for State Dept. will be over $40,000.
Many of the requests for a visa are denied, but the application fee is non-refundable.
Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees
Type of Visa
|Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor, and Journalist visas|
|Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R)|
|Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E)|
|Fiancé(e) visas (K)|
|Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older)|
|Border Crossing Cards (under age 15)|
Because of a reallocation of costs associated with immigrant visas, all categories of immigrant visa processing fees will decrease.
Immigrant Visa Processing Fees
Type of Visa
|Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications|
|Other Immigrant Visa Applications|
|Diversity Visa Program Fee|
|Determining Returning Resident Status|
Source: US Department of State