Navigating the Recent Visa Reciprocity Changes
In December 2019 the United States Department of State (DOS) made significant changes to the visa reciprocity fees and validity periods for nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries. Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. When a foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the U.S. will impose a reciprocal fee for similar types of visas.
In December 2019 DOS implemented significant changes to validity periods and fees:
- Australia: Impacted visa types include E-1 and E-2 Treaty Traders/Investors, F-1 Students, H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers, L Intracompany Transferees, R Religious Workers and B-1/B-2 Visitors.
The visa issuance fee for the E-1/E-2 increased from $105 to $3,574 and the validity period was reduced to 48 months. The H-1B fee increased from $105 to $1,295. The L-1/L-2 fee increased from $105 to $1,790 and the validity period was reduced to 48 months.
- France: The maximum L-1/L-2 validity period was reduced from 5 years to 17 months and the E-1/E-2 validity period was reduced from 5 years to 25 months. The H-1B fee was increased to $480.00.
- Israel: The L-1/L-2 visa validity period was reduced to 48 months and the E-2 visa may only be issued for 24 months.
Other countries with recent reciprocity fee and/or visa validity periods updates include: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Guinea Bissau, Norway, Malta, Mauritania, Madagascar, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Spain.
Determining Reciprocity Fees
The full DOS reciprocity tables can be viewed here.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
- Visa issuance fees and validity periods should be taken into consideration as part of the planning process
- Changes may impact the ability for foreign nationals to extend their visa validity period
- Changes to fees and validity periods are ongoing – review the reciprocity schedule in advance
If you have any questions about this alert, please contact your Gibney representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.