How Long Does it Take to Get a US Visa and How Much Does it Cost

By Sola Idowu
Published 21/11/2021 11:20 AM

How Long Does it Take to Get a US Visa and How Much Does it Cost?

Applying for a US visa does not come for free. Instead, there are several costs and U.S. visa application fees that you must pay. How much is an American visa depends on the type of visa you want to get and the country you are from?

You must pay fees for US non-immigrant visas, US immigrant visas, and the US diversity visa. These are application fees, while other costs include reciprocity fees. Reciprocity fees are costs that other countries have to pay depending on their relationship with the US and vice versa when someone applies for visas.

How Much Time it Take to Get a US Visa?

The U.S. visa processing time depends on the kind of visa that you are applying for. It needs from 3 to 5 weeks for a U.S. visa application to get processed. After the processing, the applicant can get a confident reply on their application, and the consulate will deliver the document. The delivery of the visa can take up to two other workdays.

Applications refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) pending additional processing can take around 60 days from the visa interview date to be processed. In some instances, the processing might take more than six months.

Applicants who are required to apply for a waiver of ineligibility to get the visa should keep in might that they will have to wait for 6 to 8 months from the date of their interview to take a reply.

When are Fees not Necessary for US Non-immigrant Visas?

There are also instances where you do not have to pay a fee, and that is in these situations:

• When you ask for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas.
• For a J visa applicant sponsored by the US administration.
• To replace a machine-readable visa when the original visa was not well stamped, it was not its fault.
• For applicants who are part of international agreements such as staff members of the UN Headquarters and their families.
• For applicants traveling for charity purposes.
• For US administration employees traveling for official business.
• For parents, siblings, spouses, and children of a US administration employee killed in the line of duty, the family is traveling to attend the funeral or burial.

US Non-immigrant Visa Reciprocity Fees

Another factor determining how much is a visa to the USA for the non-immigrant category is the reciprocity fees. These fees are for issuing the visa and for border crossing cards. However, immigrant visas do not have reciprocity fees, but only non-immigrant visas do.

Reciprocity fees depend on the country you are currently residing and applying from and the passport you have. This fee must be paid before you get your passport back from the US Embassy.

There are situations when an applicant does not have to pay a reciprocity fee, and that happens if the applicant is:

• Part of international agreements such as staff members of the UN Headquarters or the UN General Assembly and their families.
• Transiting to the UN Headquarters.
• Part of a US government-sponsored program and their spouse and children.
• Traveling for charity purposes.

US Immigrant Visa Fees

The US immigrant visas allow a person to stay permanently in the US where they can live and work. The fees for the immigrant visas are for petitions as well as processing charges.

The fees for the petitions are as follows:

• Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Relative charges 535.00 USD.
• Form I-600 or Form I-800, Orphan Immediate Relative Petition charges 775.00 USD.

As for processing fees, they depend on the type of visa which you are applying for, and are as follows:

• Direct Relative or Family Preference Immigration Applications cost 325.00 USD in addition to the petition.
• Employment-Based Immigration Applications charges 345.00 USD in addition to the petition.
• Other immigration applications (such as self-petitioning) charges 205.00 USD.
• K visa for a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen charges 265.00 USD.
• Specific Afghan or Iraqi special immigrant applications have no fee.

Another everyday fee for most immigrant visas is the Affidavit of Support, which costs 120.00 USD. The price is paid from US citizen sponsors who can guarantee that they will support the applicant financially until they settle down and work within the US.


US Diversity Visa Fees

The US Diversity Visa or Lottery is for those who want to try out their luck and see if they can get selected for a US immigrant visa by chance. The applicants sign up each period, and the US institutions decide on how many winners of the visa to choose annually. The usual period for signing up is during November, and applications are then reviewed during the year.

There are not any fees for the diversity visa except for the application or sign-up fee. This fee is 330.00 USD and must be paid before applying online.

Finally, do not forget to get your 2x2 inches U.S. Visa Photo ready. It will be needed for your application. 

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