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A Hike in US Visa Application Fees Set to Make American Dream Costlier

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A Hike in US Visa Application Fees
Source: freepik

The American dream is set to become a little costlier. Ahead of the New Year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a hike in the visa application fees for student and H-1B visas along with other categories. 

Increase in Visa Processing and Fees

As the US visa processing times are significantly coming down, the hike in the visa application fees comes as a surprise for many aspiring applicants. The premium processing fees increased significantly for forms I-129, I-140, I-539, and I-765. Specifically, the premium processing fee for I-129, catering to nonimmigrant worker visas, has gone up by 12% to $2,805. This marks a climb from the previous $2,500.

Furthermore, Form I-539 now charges premium processing fees of $1,965 instead of $1,750. Likewise, the fee structure for Form I-765 is hiked to $1,685 from the preceding $1,500.

Hike in F-1 Visa Application Fees

The F-1 visa lets individuals towards academic or language pursuits at accredited institutions in the US. This visa not only opens doors to fulfilling educational dreams but also offers a promise of optional practical training (OPT) post-study, a bridge to real-world work experiences.

Apart from the hike in the US visa application fees, the USCIS can now also have a higher scrutiny for student visa applicants. This is being done to eradicate fraudulent applications. Another significant change is that applicants for F, M, and J visas must now enter passport information when creating their profiles and setting up their visa appointments.

Also Read: Air India Unveils Sleek Interiors of India’s First Airbus A350 900 in Delhi 

Despite the US visa application fees likely to increase, applications are still rising. The US Mission processed a million visas in 2023 from India alone and this number is only expected to go up in 2024. As the US visa processing times are improving, more and more people are fulfilling their American dream. 

Not just this, many airlines like Air India are also banking on increased travel and offering nonstop flights to USA. If your US visa application is accepted, you can book your itinerary by making use of the ongoing Indian Eagle flight deals and fulfil your American dream. 

Do you think the hike in the visa application fees will further bring down the US visa processing times? Will the number of visas being processed in India cross the million mark in 2024? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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