The U.S. State Department has dramatically increased visa issuance fees for Australian nationals in certain visa categories, as of Dec. 23, 2019.

The U.S. government charges visa issuance fees for nonimmigrant visas that are approved. The fee increases are intended to reciprocate the fees the Australian government charges U.S. citizens who are issued visas.

The new schedule for Australian nationals in key nonimmigrant visa categories is as follows:

Visa category Visa issuance fee for Australian nationals (USD)
E-1 Treaty trader $3,574
E-2 Treaty investor $3,574
E-3 Australian specialty occupation professional No Fee
F-1 Student $305
F-2 Family dependent of F-1 student $185
H-2, H-3 – Temporary/Seasonal Workers and Employment, Trainees $105
H-1B – Worker (specialty occupation) $1,295
H-4 – Derivative family member of H-1B worker $1,295
I – Journalist and media $105
J – Exchange visitor $105
K- Fiancé(e) or spouse of U.S. citizen No Fee
L – Intracompany Transferees $1,790 (includes $500 Blanket L Fraud Detection fee, if required)

BAL Analysis: The higher visa issuance fees for Australians reflect an attempt to comply with an executive order issued by President Donald Trump on March 6, 2017 that called for a review of all visa reciprocity fees and validity periods. The fees will significantly increase costs for American and Australian employers whose Australian employees and assignees are issued U.S. visas, especially in the E, F, H and L categories. Notably, the E-3 category for Australian specialty occupation workers is not affected by the visa issuance fee increases.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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