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U.S. Visas

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U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country


What is Reciprocity?

Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries*/areas of authority may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. These fees are based on the principle of  reciprocity:  when a foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a reciprocal fee on citizens of that country*/area of authority for similar types of visas. 

How Do I Find Out if I Have to Pay a Reciprocity Fee?

To view the Reciprocity Page for your country* of nationality, select your country*/area of authority from the drop-down menu above. On the Reciprocity Page, select the Visa Classifications tab from the column on the left

Visa Classification Box

Select the type of visa you have applied for, such as a B-1/B-2 (temporary visa for business or pleasure), F-1 (student visa), etc. from the drop down menu: 

Visa Classification MENU

 

The reciprocity information for that country*/area of authority will display:

Visa Reciprocity Information

What does this table tell me?

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. “M” means multiple times. If there is a number, such as “One”, you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

What is the Difference between the Reciprocity Fee and the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee?

The nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, is a nonrefundable fee paid by most applicants for U.S. visas, whether the application is approved or refused. It covers the costs associated with processing a U.S. visa application. Current nonimmigrant visa application fees can be found on our Fees – Visa Services webpage. (This webpage also lists the few visa categories for which application fees are not required.)

While most visa applicants are required to pay the visa application fee, the Reciprocity Fee is only charged to an approved nonimmigrant visa applicant after the visa interview.

Civil Documents and How to Use Them

Immigrant visa applicants are required to submit certain civil documents as part of their visa application, such as birth certificates and police records. (Nonimmigrant visa applicants do not routinely need to submit civil documents as part of their visa application.) Each Reciprocity Page will provide detailed information about how to obtain these civil documents from the country* you have selected, as well as the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you can apply for your visa. For more information about civil document requirements for immigrant visa cases, see civil documents.

To view the Civil Documents for your country* of nationality, select your country*/area of authority from the drop-down menu below. On the Reciprocity Page, click on the tabs on the left to see the categories of Civil Documents and how to obtain them.

Visa Country Search Menu

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* With respect to all references to “country” or “countries” on this page, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that “[w]whenever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b) (1). Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the Visa Waiver Program authorizing legislation, Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187, are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.