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Apr 12, 2012

US Visas Fees up by $40; from $280 to $320

You may not be heading to Colombia, but if you intend to travel north, as of this Friday, the cost of applying for a non-immigrant US visa will increase by forty dollars and does not mean it will be approved. The hike in the fees is the result of a routine review by the US Department of State. According to the embassy website, the increase will support the addition and expansion of overseas facilities, as well as additional staffing required to meet increased visa demand. News Five spoke via phone today with Grace Genuino, the Chief of the Consular Section at the Embassy in Belmopan. She explains the new fees and says it is necessary to cover the cost of processing visa applications.

 

Via Phone: Grace Genuino, Consular Section Chief, US Embassy

“The fees, actually some of them will be going up and some will be going down. For the non-immigrant category—what will be most useful would knowing that the tourist and business visas which are the most requested categories, that fee is going to go up from one hundred and forty US so two hundred and eighty Belize to one hundred and sixty US which is three hundred, twenty Belize. So that would be the B1, B2 category. The transit Visa which is the C Visa; crew members (C1, Ds), student and exchange visitors (S, M) and Journalist visas which are I visas and then you have petition based visitors which are the H, L, O, P, Q and R category and then treaty investor trade visa that’s E and then fiancé visas which is the K category. Just to note, for the E and K categories, the fees are actually going down.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Any reason why the—particularly the ones that are going up—why was the increase necessary?”

 

Via Phone: Grace Genuino

“Well, it’s a worldwide study that the department has to do periodically because we have to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant visas through the collection of visa fees. We use MRVCs which are these fees that the public pays at Atlantic Bank here in Belize. The most recent update to that study was in December 2011 and the result from that study are these new proposed fees where you see some categories going up slightly while some categories are going down actually quite significantly.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So this applies in all countries where there’s a US Embassy.”

 

Via Phone: Grace Genuino

“Exactly, it’s not just Belize. These are new fees that are going to be applied worldwide as of tomorrow.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And I noticed on the website that there’s a period during which people can submit comments. Does that mean that the fees that have been published so far may be subject to change?”

 

Via Phone: Grace Genuino

“They will be taking comments and they are actually going to be reviewing and publishing with the final rule, the department’s responses to those comments. But the fees that they are proposing better reflect the actual cost of providing these services so the anticipation is that it’s not going to change.  With the receipts that are issued by Atlantic Bank, any receipt that was issued up until today, we will honor for ninety days up until July twelfth 2012. So if they paid the two hundred and eighty Belize fee at Atlantic Bank for like a B1 or B2 category, we’ll honor that original receipt—they can redeem that with us to be considered for a visa or an interview until July twelfth, 2012.”

 

One piece of advice, the summer months are often overcrowded with applications so it’s best to try as early as possible. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “US Visas Fees up by $40; from $280 to $320”

  1. RedBwai says:

    Ha!..the United States is a damn stinking rich country while Belize continues to be a poor lil third world country…an yet, every year for some reason the US keeps raising their visa application costs…why and for wat reason?? arent we already poor and struggling?? are they trying to keep us out?? this jus feels vindictive on the part of the US government…they always have an alterior motive behind all the do…its not because they need the increase in revenue trust me…its simple…they jus trying to discourage poor people from applying by raising the cost to a level that is unaffordable to most…those same poor people are the same ones who they fear will over stay their time and become a plague to their country’s ecomomy by becoming an illegal immigrant…

  2. Earl Grey says:

    WE helped to BUILD THE NEW EMBASSY in BELMOPAN already…WHAT NOW????????

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    US Visa fees up by $40,then the duration of stay in the us should be extended.More money more time.

  4. No longer the superpower says:

    Sorry Redbwai, but I beg to defer. The US is no longer the Superpower it was when I was young. They made some very bad investments in the Bush’s wars, and many major states are bankrupt! What we need to do is focus on what’s ours (This precious jewel), and not allow crooked politicians to abuse our little resources.

  5. drose flowers says:

    THAT WHY I SQUAT MY BACKSIDE IN MY COUNTRY BELIZE.
    I WOULD NEVER PAY THAT MONEY TO GET VISA JUST TO GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY! HELL NO WAY.

  6. RedBwai says:

    No longer the superpower, the US is way way way better off position than Belize will ever be in terms of their economy..no matter how bad their economy gets no matter how bankrupt they get…they jus print more money…its the preferred form of currency world wide anyhow right? they are still in a better position than we will ever be…besides…why is it that we have to subject ourselves to applying for a visa to visit the US when US citizens dont need a visa to visit Belize?? hmmm???…what if GOB were to declare that all US citizens visiting Belize needs a visa?? what do u think would happen then?? u honestly think US citizens would pay for a visa to visit us?? the US dont need our measly tourism scraps as a way to help their economy when we visit their country…see we are a poor lil country…we need tourism dollars to boost and sustain our economy…so we have to give in an allow US citizens special no visa required privilages to visit our Jewel..we need the money so we have to give in and give it up….sounds no different than the situation some young girls find themselves in today because of the poverty we live in…

  7. firstlady says:

    RedBwa,
    u r so right, and an inteelectual THINKER. WE NEED SOMEONE that thinks like you to be the PMs side man. Its a true fact u r stating, and also comparing it to.

  8. Gertrude Backous says:

    You guys keep up the great work.Dallas,Tx

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