Beginning March 8, 2005, all applicants for immigrant or diversity visas must pay a new surcharge of $45 US Dollars per application.
Applicants for Diversity Immigrant Visas must also pay a Diversity Visa Program surcharge of $375 US Dollars per applications. This is an increase to the existing fee, which was $100 US Dollars.
These new surcharges are in addition to the existing visa application fees of $335 US Dollars per application.
The Immigrant Visa surcharge was established to support the costs of enhanced border security. The Department of State is carrying out a multi-year effort to increase border security by strengthening the security of the immigrant visa adjudication process and the physical costs on the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. The effort to enhance immigrant visa services includes migration of the immigrant visa to a machine-readable format using a secure visa foil and implementation of digital photo and electronic fingerprint collection as required by recent legislative mandates.
The Diversity Visa Program surcharge is intended to recover the costs of the Diversity Visa program. It is paid only by those who are selected through the program process and apply for a visa. The fee is being raised to cover all costs of the program so the government, and ultimately the taxpayers, do not subsidize this program. Section 636 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009703-704 (Sept. 30, 1996) authorizes establishment of a diversity visa application fee to recover the full costs of the visa program conducted pursuant to Sections 203 and 222 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The new fees were authorized by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, (P.L. 108-447).