Reciprocity Fees Increase Sharply for Australian Nonimmigrants
On December 23, 2019, the reciprocity schedule for Australia was revised for certain visa categories, introducing changes that include dramatically higher fees for E, F, H, L and R visa applicants. For instance, the fee for an E-1 or E-2 visa for Australian nonimmigrants is now $3,574; H-1B and H-4 workers will be charged $1,295; and L visa applicants must pay $1,790. In addition, some visa validity periods have been shortened, including the L-1 and L-2 visas, which are now valid for 48 months. However, the validity period of B1, B2, and B1/B2 visas has been extended from 12 months to 5 years. Note that the E-3 visa for Australian nationals is not affected by these changes.
The U.S. visa reciprocity schedule determines each country’s visa issuance fees, the number of entries permitted on a visa, and the maximum validity period for each visa. These terms are intended to reflect the terms imposed by other countries on American visa applicants. The recent changes to the fee schedule for Australians is an attempt to bring U.S. visa terms into alignment with Australian requirements for similar visas.