Find Out How Much A US Tourist Visa Really Cost: Beyond the Application Fee

Do you have fantastic travel plans to the US? Perhaps the glittering streets of New York City, the breathtaking scenery of Yellowstone National Park, or the sun-drenched beaches of California are calling your name. However, it is important to know the procedure for applying for a visa, especially the associated fees, before you pack your bags. Find out the additional expenses for a US tourist visa, aside from the usual application fee.

Find Out How Much A US Tourist Visa Really Cost

The primary expense linked to obtaining a tourist visa in the United States is the application fee. Currently, the fee stands at $185. This covers the processing of your application by the US Department of State. 

It is crucial to know that this cost is not refundable, regardless of the outcome of your visa application. However, the US$185 application fee is only one element of the overall cost and the following is an overview of potential extra expenses you may have when applying for a US tourist visa:

SEVIS Fee (For F, M, and J visas)

Only student and exchange visitor visas (F, M, and J categories) are subject to this fee. The US government maintains a database of foreign students and exchange visitors by charging a fee for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The sum varies based on the kind of visa such as:

  • USD 350.00 for non-immigrant students presenting Form I-20
  • US$220 for the majority of users who use Form DS-2019 for exchanges.

Cost for Fraud Prevention and Identification (Only For Specific Nationalities)

An additional fraud prevention and detection fee is applied to certain nationalities to fortify security measures. This fee, which typically ranges from $5 to $10, is paid at the time of the visa interview. On the website of the US Department of State, there is a list of nationalities that are charged this fee

Medical Examination Fee

It might be necessary for you to undergo a medical examination conducted by a physician designated by the US as part of the visa application procedure. This examination usually costs between US$100 and US$200, but the exact amount varies and is based on the location and the doctor’s fees.

Visa Interview Fee

The visa interview itself is free of charge, but there may be unrelated expenses related to going to the interview. This can cover the cost of transportation to the US embassy or consulate as well as possible lodging expenses if the interview location is far from your home.

Optional Services

You may come across third-party vendors’ optional services during the application process. These services can include visa application assistance, document translation, and courier services for delivering your application package. The cost of these services varies depending on the provider and the specific service chosen.


Photography Costs

You’ll need to submit recent passport-sized photographs with your visa application. While some photo studios might offer special rates for visa applications, the cost is usually minimal.

Additional Considerations

  • Reciprocity Fees 

In some cases, the US might impose a reciprocity fee based on the visa fees charged by your home country to US citizens. You can check with the nearest US embassy or consulate to determine if a reciprocity fee applies to your situation.

  • Currency Fluctuations

 The application fees and other costs mentioned above are listed in US dollars. Depending on your home currency and exchange rates, the actual cost you pay might vary slightly.

Conclusively, to ensure a smooth visa application process, it’s wise to factor in all potential costs beyond the initial US$185 application fee. Create a budget that includes estimated expenses for medical examinations, travel to the interview, and any optional services you might choose.

By carefully considering these additional costs, you can avoid any financial surprises during the US tourist visa application process. Remember, thorough planning and a well-managed budget are key steps towards securing your dream vacation in the United States.

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