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Kenyans to pay more for US Visas after new changes

US Embassy announces increase in non-immigrant visa fees for students, tourists, investors, temporary workers and other categories

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

The United States Department of State has announced an increase in visa fees for certain nonimmigrant visas (NIV) starting from May 30, 2023.

A non-immigrant visa (NIV) is a type of visa issued by the United States to foreign nationals who wish to enter the country temporarily for a specific purpose that is not related to immigration or permanent residence.

This means that holders of non-immigrant visas are expected to leave the United States and return to their home countries when their visas expire.

According to a statement released by the US Embassy in Nairobi, the visa fee increase is due to a review of the costs associated with visa and other services around the world.

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Visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s), student (F) and exchange visitor visas (J) will increase from $160 (Sh21,800) to $185 (Sh25,300).

The fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 (Sh25,900) to $205 (Sh28,000).

The fee for treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will increase from $205 (Sh28,000) to $315 (Sh43,000).

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The US Embassy emphasized that the slight increases to the costs of some fees reflect the rising cost of the inputs associated with the services provided by consular sections around the world.

"The Department of State works hard to keep the costs associated with visas to a minimum, and the Department only recovers the costs of providing these consular services," the statement read.

It was also stated that individuals who have already paid the existing, lower nonimmigrant visa fee will not have to pay the difference once the fee increases on May 30, 2023.

All NIV fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days.

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Receipts for NIV fees paid prior to October 1, 2022, will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023.

The increase in visa fees announced by the US Department of State will affect Kenyans who are planning to apply for certain nonimmigrant visas to the United States.

Specifically, the following categories of nonimmigrant visas will see an increase in fees:

  • Visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s)
  • Student visas (F)
  • Exchange visitor visas (J)
  • Petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories)
  • Treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category)

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