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America raises visa fee by Rs 1225

New Delhi, Dec. 17: Applications for American visas will cost $31 (Rs 1,225) more from January 1, 2008, when the US state department revises its application fees for non-immigrants.

Applications submitted through HDFC Bank outlets currently cost $100. This is the first fee adjustment for US visas since 2002.

Applications for US visas in India can be sent through a system called the Machine Readable Visa, where a person can submit the fee at specified HDFC Bank outlets.

Those who have already applied and have their visa application receipts will also have to shell out the extra amount unless their appointments are scheduled before the new fee regime kicks in, the American embassy said.

While the embassy is encouraging those with application receipts to seek appointments for this year, officials said it was not necessary that the demand should be met.

The officials explained that interviews were granted in a sequence and the embassy would not allow any “clogging” of its visa process.

Those who have applied under the current fee regime but are granted appointments only in the new year will need to carry a non-refundable demand draft for $31 at the time of the interview, the officials explained.

Although interviews could earlier be held online, physical appointments Ś at the embassy or a consulate Ś are now mandatory as fingerprints are taken at the time of the interview, the embassy officials said.

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