US Increases Price Of Visas; New Fees Revealed

All non-immigrant visa fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days

US Increases Price Of Visas; New Fees Revealed
Side by side image of US President Joe Biden and President William Ruto of Kenya. /VIRALTEAKE

The United States Department of State on Wednesday, May 3 updated the fee structure for different categories of Visa applications.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Kenya revealed that the new cost schedule for consular fees came after a review of costs associated with visas and other services around the world. As of May 30, 2023, visa fees will be increasing for certain nonimmigrant visas.  

Visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s) and other categories, such as student (F) and exchange visitor visas (J), will increase from $160 to $185 (Ksh21,800 to Ksh25,206).

An image of a US visa application. /FILE

The fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205 (Ksh25,887 to Ksh27,931)

The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicant in a speciality occupation (E category) will increase from $205 to $315 (Ksh27,931 to Ksh42,918)

"The slight increases to the costs of some fees reflect the rising cost of the inputs associated with the services provided by consular sections around the world.

"Individuals who already paid the existing, lower NIV fee will not have to pay the difference once the fee increases on May 30, 2023," the US Embassy stated in part.

All non-immigrant visa fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days. Furthermore, receipts for non-immigrant fees paid prior to October 1, 2022, will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023.

Despite the visa fee hike for some specific travellers, the US Embassy expressed its commitment to expedite the approval from the application process of Kenyans applying for visas.

"U.S. Embassy in Nairobi continues its concerted efforts to meet the demand for visa services.  Additional information on the fee increase can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website,, and on the U.S. Embassy Nairobi webpage," added the embassy.

On September 16, 2022, the embassy announced that it changed the requirements for non-immigrants applying for Visa renewals. That is, those applying for a tourist, business, student and crew visa renewal will be exempted from taking interviews in the changes.

It added that it was part of the US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman's pledge to reduce the backlog of visa interview appointments for non-immigrants.

"As part of Ambassador Whitman’s pledge to reduce the nonimmigrant visa interview appointment backlog, the United States Embassy in Nairobi announced today that it has expanded the Interview Waiver Program for nonimmigrant visas. Effective immediately, those applying for tourist/business (B1/B2), student (F, J, M), or crew visas (C1/D) categories may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview.

"To qualify for this program, you must be applying for the same visa category, and your visa cannot have expired more than four years ago. Formerly, the limit was one year," the statement read.

On its website, the embassy revealed that aspiring visa applicants would have to wait until June of 2024 to get the highly-important document that will enable them to travel halfway across the world.

It added that the COVID-19 pandemic had forced it to freeze non-immigrant interviews for over a year and resumed in February 2022 on a full capacity basis.

Former IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati meets US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman. /IEBC