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Visa Reciprocity in the United States: All You Need to Know

If you are going through the process of applying for your U.S. visa, you will come to find that there may be a variety of fees you will have to pay. Most of these fees will be self-explanatory except for the visa reciprocity fees. Many immigrants are confused about what visa reciprocity fees are and if they need to pay them. In this article, we will examine the ins and out of these fees and who needs to deal with them. 

What is Visa Reciprocity? 

When applying for a U.S. visa, some non-immigrant applications coming from certain countries or areas of authority may have to pay visa reciprocity fees once their application is approved. Sometimes known as “visa insurance”, visa reciprocity fees are fees the U.S. government charges immigrants coming from foreign countries that likewise charge U.S. citizens fees when they apply for a visa in that foreign country. Every country will have a unique list of countries from which citizens are required to have a visa, as well as a list of countries that do not require a visa. For example, if a visitor from a country must pay a visa fee to the United States, then the U.S. will have to pay that visa too. If the visa fee is waived, however, the waiver will occur on both sides. 

If you are a foreign national, it is very important to check every time you plan on traveling to and from the U.S. if you need to pay a visa reciprocity fee as the fee could change. You can always visit the U.S. Department of State website to check if you need to pay this fee. Once you visit the site, you can select the country you are you can check if there have been any recent changes to the visa reciprocity table and if you need to pay any fees.

What is the Difference Between the Reciprocity Fee and the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee?

One of the things that can easily get confused when applying for a U.S. visa is the difference between the reciprocity fees and the nonimmigrant visa application fee. The non-immigrant application fee, or MRV fee, is one that anyone who is applying for a U.S. visa must pay – no matter if they are approved or not. The MRV fee will cover the administrative costs of processing your visa application. The MRV fees can also be found on the Department of State website. The difference between the reciprocity fee and the non-immigrant visa application fee is at what time the fee is being charged and the status of the applicant. For example, anyone who is applying for a U.S. visa will pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee. Only those applicants who have been approved and passed their interview will be charged visa reciprocity fees. In short, the nonimmigrant visa application fee has to be paid at the beginning of your visa application no matter what, and the visa reciprocity fee is paid at a later time, once you are approved for the visa.

Get in Touch

If you or a loved one is going through the U.S. visa application process and needs professional help and guidance, it is best to speak to an experienced immigration attorney. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC we work together with our clients to get them through the immigration process and work hard to achieve the best result possible. Contact us today to discuss your particular immigration case.