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Drastic Increase in Visa Reciprocity Fees for Australian Nationals Applying for U.S. visas

By January 3, 2020March 31st, 2021Immigration, News
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The amount of time an E-2 visa can be granted for and the cost of issuing said visa varies by country and depends on the agreement (the legal term is reciprocity) between the applicant’s country and the United States. Some countries, such as Egypt and Bangladesh, have reciprocity periods of as little as 3 months while other countries allow applicants to get an E-2 visa for up to 5 years. Visa fees are also based on reciprocity, that is if a country charges U.S. citizens $50 to receive a visa, then the U.S. will charge citizens of that country a similar amount for a U.S. visa.

Without notice and effective immediately on December 23, 2019, the State Department’s visa reciprocity fees for Australian citizens applying for U.S. visas was drastically increased. Below is a comparison between the current and previous fees:

E-1 Visas

  • New fee: $3574
  • Old fee: $105

E-2 Visas

  • New fee: $3574
  • Old fee: $105


  • New fee: $1295
  • Old fee: $105


  • New fee: $1295
  • Old fee: $105

L-1 (including blanket L and individual L)

  • New fee: $1790 (including the anti-fraud fee)
  • Old fee: $105


  • New fee: $1790
  • Old fee: $105

Visa reciprocity fees have to be paid for all applicants. Meaning if a family of 5 are applying for E-2 visas (1 main investor with an investor spouse and 3 investor children), would mean that the applicant must pay 5 times of $3574.

The visa validity period for E-1, E-2, H-1B, and H-4 visas have not changed. E-1 and E-2 visas are still valid for 48 months and H-1B and H-4 visas are still valid for 60 months. Visa validity for L-1 and L-2 visas have increased from 48 months to 60 months.

Issuance fees for E-3 visas have not changed, it’s still free and valid for 24 months. B-1 business visa and B-2 visitor visa fees have also decreased from $25 to free.

No warning was provided by the State Department of this increase. This is a response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, which requested that the U.S. Department of Sate undertake a worldwide review of reciprocity arrangements and to update any discrepancies. Reciprocity changing without warning is not uncommon, E-2 reciprocity for French nationals was decreased from 60 months to 15 months in August 2019. Visa validity for Pakistan nationals was also updated in March 2019.

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