New Delhi, Oct. 7 (PTI): The US embassy today announced scrapping of visa issuance fee for students, reduction of such charges for other categories and adjustment in consular exchange rate from October 11.
US missions in the country will no longer collect issuance fees from students, exchange visitors and for transit and crewman visas issued to Indians, a US embassy release said.
The fees for issuing business visas and visas to other visitors will drop from $75 to $50 per visa. At the same time, an adjustment of the exchange rate used for consular transactions to Rs 46 from Rs 49 to the dollar will further reduce all rupee denominated costs of applying for visas and passports at the US missions, it said.
It was made clear that the application fee was not being eliminated and must still be paid for all visa applications. These include applications for students, exchange visitors, transit and crewmen visas and most other non-immigrant visas.
From October 11, the $100 visa application fee will require a bank draft of Rs 4,600 made out to the US embassy or the consulate general where the person stays.
The American embassy clarified that applicants for visas that still required an issuance fee should also submit a second draft of Rs 2,300 to cover the $50 fee.
Applicants for student, exchange visitor, transit and crewman visas no longer need to submit this second bank draft.
The October 11 adjustment in exchange rate will lower the rupee price of all consular transactions, including services for American citizens.
US passport applications for children under 16 will decrease to Rs 3,220 and adult passport renewal applications will cost Rs 2,530 while first-time adult passport applicants will have to pay Rs 3,910.
A single notary seal will cost Rs 1,380.
US law requires virtually all visa applicants to pay a non-refundable $100 application fee. But issuance of visas “are based solely on reciprocity”.
The fee reductions are being made to bring US visas in line with the $150 visa fee charged to US citizens by the Indian government.
Since India does not charge more than $100 for student visas and the other categories, the issuance fee is being eliminated.