Revision of Schedule of Fees for Consular Services
The U.S. Department of State has revised the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services. The new schedule will be effective March 8, 2005, at which time the fees for certain services provided by the Department of State and by U.S. visa-issuing offices abroad will change.
The Department is required by law and regulation to recover the actual costs of providing most consular services through user fees. To comply, the fees for consular services are adjusted periodically following cost-of-service studies conducted by independent contractor under the supervision of the Department. The last major revision of the Schedule of Fees was in 2002.
The revised Schedule of Fees for Consular Services also reflects new surcharges authorized in the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Recovering the actual cost of providing consular services is essential to maintaining and improving high-quality customer service, utilizing advances in information technology and enhancing the security features of the consular function of border security.
The Schedule of Fees for Consular Services revisions resulting from the recent cost-of-service study include:
-- An increase in the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery surcharge for diversity immigrant visa applications from $100 to $375;
-- An increase in the passport file search fee from $45 to $60; and,
-- A reduction in the fee charged for issuance of a transportation letter for Legal Permanent Resident Aliens (LPRA) to reenter the U.S. from abroad from $300 to $165.
Additional revisions in the new Schedule of Fees resulting from the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act include:
-- A surcharge of $12 to be added to current passport fees;
-- A surcharge of $45 to be added to the current fees for immigrant visas; and,
-- A $500 "fraud prevention and detection fee" for persons applying for L-1 visas under "blanket" provisions abroad.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 also mandated a "fraud prevention and detection fee" to be charged for H-1B and L-1 principal applicants at time of petition filing or change of employer. These fees are not reflected in the new Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, as they will be collected by the Department of Homeland Security.