In response to public concerns and outcry, the United States Department of State has decided to postpone the previously announced date for the worldwide increase in visa fees.
The new effective date for the fee hike will now be June 17, instead of the initially stated May 30.
“Individuals who already paid the existing, lower NIV fee will not have to pay the difference once the fee increases on June 17, 2023. All NIV fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days. Receipts for NIV fees paid before October 1, 2022, will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023,” said the Nairobi-based US Embassy in a Wednesday statement.
The affected visa categories, including business and tourist visas (B1/B2), student visas (F), and exchange visitor visas (J), will witness an increase in fees from ($160)Sh21,800 to ($185)Sh25,206.
Similarly, visas for temporary workers in categories such as H, L, O, P, Q, and R will cost ($205) Sh27,941 up from the previous fee of ($190) Sh25,897.
As part of the fee adjustments, the visa fee for treaty traders, investors, and applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will see an increase from ($205) Sh27,941 to ($315) Sh42,934.
The US attributes the increase in the fees to the rising costs of processing the travel document.
The embassy said it acknowledges the significant role that international travel plays in the US economy and the importance of visas, particularly for work and tourism, in President Joe Biden’s foreign policy objectives.
The embassy emphasized that the visa fee adjustments are aimed at recovering the costs associated with providing consular services.
The visa fee adjustment marks the first time since 2014 that the costs for non-immigrant visas have been raised.