Americas News

US Embassy in Manila hikes nonimmigrant visa fees for Filipinos

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda and Jennifer T. Santos
MANILA – The United States Embassy in Manila headed by Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson has announced that it will increase its charges for regular nonimmigrant visas from $160 to $185 starting June 17.

US Consul General Mark McGovern made the announcement as the US Embassy posted also the announcement on the embassy website.

“But the good news is that visas for Philippine nationals are good for 10 years so you just pay once and that $185 means you carry a visa for $18.50 per year,” McGovern said, stressing that immigrant visas will not be increased.

Since last March, the U.S. Embassy started issuing the new Bridge visa, thus some visa applicants will have visas with a different look.The new Bridge visa is a redesigned visa foil that will be used alongside the Lincoln visa.  All Bridge and Lincoln visas will remain valid until the printed expiration date unless they have been revoked or canceled. 

With more than 4.5 million Filipinos in the US, the US Embassy in Manila is one of the busiest on consular services, entertaining at least 2,000 visa applicants every day. Thus, it is also collecting one of the biggest revenues from the US visa fees.

Some officials are proposing that US visas be waived on Filipinos, considering that the Philippines has waived Philippine visas for US citizens.

Here’s the US Embassy announcement on the US visa fees:

“The increase in certain nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application fees will go into effect on June 17, 2023, instead of May 30.  Payment services for new visa fees will be suspended on June 16 and will not resume again until June 17.  Please do not attempt to make any visa fee payment on that date.

The application fee for visitor visas for temporary business or tourism (B1/B2s) and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas, has increased from $160 to $185.  The application fee for certain petition-based NIVs for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) has increased from $190 to $205.  The application fee for a treaty trader or treaty investor (E category) visa applicant has increased from $205 to $315.

Other consular fees remain the same, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors.  Applicants who have already paid a visa application fee that is currently valid and non-expired, but who have not yet appeared for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed, will not be charged additional fees as a result of this fee increase.”