State Department Exempts Some Immigrant Visa Applicants from Fees

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

On Jan. 19, 2021, the State Department issued a final rule that exempts some immigrant visa applicants from paying visa application fees. The rule, which was published in the Federal Register, applies specifically to immigrant visas that were denied under two travel bans imposed by the Trump administration. Non-immigrant visas, such as those with temporary intent like the H-1B or L-1 category, are not included in this rule. 


The State Department’s final rule allows individuals who were denied an immigrant visa between Dec. 8, 2017 and Jan. 19, 2020, inclusive, to reapply for their visa without paying the application fee and any supporting fees if their application was denied because they were barred from entering the U.S. under presidential proclamations 9645 and 9983.

Both presidential proclamations denied entry into the U.S. for many individuals traveling from specific countries.  

Applicants will have their application fees waived only if a consular officer previously determined that their immigrant visa was denied solely because of presidential proclamations 9645 or 9983. Applicants whose immigrant visas were denied due to other reasons while the entry bans were in effect must still pay all applicable application fees. Immigrant visa fee information maintained by the Department of State can be found here.

Looking Ahead  

The final rule is effective immediately following its publication on Jan. 19, 2021.  

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates (GIA), one of the two independent U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").    

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.