The United States Department of State, on Wednesday, May 3, announced an increase in fees for different categories of Visa applications for non-immigrants.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Kenya indicated that the new hiked charges, which represented an increase of up to Ksh15,000 (USD110), will take effect beginning May 30, 2023.
The US noted that visitor visas for business, tourism and students would be revised upwards from Ksh21,800 to Ksh25,206 (USD160 to USD185).
Further, President Joe Biden's administration increased visa fees for temporary workers from Ksh25,887 to Ksh27,931.
For Treaty traders, treaty investors, and treaty applicants in a speciality occupation, the US increased the visa fee from Ksh27,931 to Ksh42,918.
However, the US indicated that those who had applied earlier will not be subjected to the new visa fee reviews.
"Individuals who already paid the existing, lower (Non-Immigrant Visa) NIV fee will not have to pay the difference once the fee increases on May 30, 2023. All NIV fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days," US Embassy indicated.
"Receipts for NIV fees paid prior to October 1, 2022, will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023," it further elaborated.
The US attributed the increase to the rising cost of the inputs associated with the services provided by consular sections worldwide.
Besides the visa fee hike for some specific travellers, the US Embassy vowed to expedite the approval process to meet the rising demand.
"US Embassy Nairobi continues its concerted efforts to meet the demand for visa services," the statement indicated.
In November 2022, the US Embassy announced plans to reduce visa waiting time from two years to two or three months.
"No one can defend the long wait for visas, it was an indefensible length of time, but we have taken concrete steps to address the issue by extending interviewing hours and scheduled appointments," Consul General-Head of Visa Section at the Kenyan US Embassy Deborah Miller stated.