Other Fees

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In some cases, additional visa fees are paid directly to the National Visa Center, to the U.S. Embassy, or to the Department of Homeland Security.

Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance ("Reciprocity") Fees

Applicants from certain countries for certain visa types may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. These fees are based on "reciprocity" (what another country charges a U.S. citizen for a similar-type of visa). The United States strives to eliminate visa issuance fees whenever possible, however, when a foreign government imposes these 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 Department of State's website has more information about visa issuance fees and can help you determine if an issuance fee applies to your nationality and visa type. For example, Panamanian applicants for F-1 student visas and I media visas, as well as for H-1B, L-1, L-2, R-1, and R-2 visas, must pay a visa issuance fee.


The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system that tracks F, M and J visa participants (and their family members) from the time they receive their initial documentation (either an I-20 or a DS-2019) until they graduate/leave school or conclude/leave program.

F, M and J visa principal applicants should check with the U.S. school to make sure your information has been entered into SEVIS. You must pay a separate SEVIS fee in addition to the visa application fee. For nonimmigrant students with Form I-20, the SEVIS fee is US$350. For most exchange visitors with Form DS-2019, the SEVIS fee is US$220.  Please note that the payment cannot be made at the Embassy. Instructions for paying the SEVIS fee can be found here.

SEVIS Fee Exception

Applicants participating in a U.S. Government sponsored program (programs whose codes begin with G-1, G-2, G-3, G-7) are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.

Blanket L Fees (Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee and Border Security Act Fee)

The principal applicant of a blanket L petition must pay a Fraud Prevention and Detection fee, either of US$500, as well as a Border Security Act fee of US$2,250 in certain circumstances. The U.S. petitioner pays the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee and Border Security fee for individual L and H-1B and H-2B petitions when the petition is filed with USCIS.