COVID-19 Era Visa Application Fees to Expire 30.Sep.202320 Sep 2023
On September 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of States (DOS) issued a reminder to visa applicants that all machine-readable visa fee receipts issued prior to October 1, 2022, will expire on September 30, 2023, unless immediate action is taken. If an affected individual does not take the necessary action before September 30, 2023, then the fee will be forfeited.
Machine-Readable Visa Fee Receipts Explained
A nonimmigrant visa applicant is required to pay a fee for the machine-readable visa (MRV) stamp that will be placed in the individual’s passport. This MRV fee is paid after the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application is opened and a confirmation ID is issued to the applicant. The fee must be paid prior to an applicant’s visa interview.
Expiration of Visa Fee Receipts Issued Before 01.Oct.2022
Due to significant backlogs in consular processes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOS extended the validity for all visa fee receipts issued before October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023. The DOS recently announced that it will not extend this date, and all visa fee receipts issued before October 1, 2022, will expire on September 30, 2023, for any applicant who has not yet scheduled a visa interview. To avoid paying a new fee, an applicant must schedule a visa interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application before September 30, 2023. The interview does not need to take place before this date and can be scheduled for a later time.
DOS cautions that an individual scheduling a visa interview with a visa fee receipt issued prior to October 1, 2022, should not try to change the appointment date on or after October 1, 2023. An individual who does so will lose both the original appointment slot and the visa fee receipt and will be required to pay a new fee and submit a new visa application.
Applying for a nonimmigrant visa can be a lengthy process and requires advance planning, but unexpected circumstances can sometimes disrupt an individual’s plans. Therefore, it is important to be on alert for DOS policy changes and updates to avoid incurring additional expenses and unwanted delays.
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