Visa issuance fees and validity periods are set based on reciprocity. If a country charges U.S. citizens $50 to receive a visa, then the U.S. will charge citizens of that country a similar amount for a U.S. visa. In 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780, which requires that the U.S. State Department undertake a worldwide review of reciprocity arrangements with a view to updating any discrepancies.
Without notice, and effective immediately on January 31, 2020, the U.S. State Department’s visa reciprocity chart was updated to reflect new visa issuance fees for Dutch citizens applying for Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visas. Additionally, E-1 and E-2 visa validity periods have been significantly shortened — from five to three years. The chart below highlights the most significant changes to routinely used visa categories:
|Visa category||New fee in USD:||Prior fee in USD:||New visa validity period:||Prior visa validity period:|
|E-1||$2,228||$0||36 months||60 months|
|E-2||$2,228||$0||36 months||60 months|
Considerations for Dutch Travelers
This surprising and significant change in the reciprocity schedule serves as a reminder to routinely check visa issuance fees and validity periods to avoid unpleasant surprises. For Dutch citizens who do not travel internationally on a regular basis and are already in the U.S., it may be advantageous from a fee standpoint to consider applying to extend status in-country rather than traveling to apply for a new visa. This should, of course, be given appropriate weight when considering multiple factors that play a role in deciding when and how to extend one’s ability to stay in the U.S. beyond the initial or most recent admission period.
We have noted the above changes to the E visa reciprocity fees for Dutch citizens and previously noted similar noteworthy changes for Australian citizens in December. However, there have also been other recent changes that we haven’t highlighted because the jump in fees hasn’t been as significant. Recent changes have been made to reciprocity fees (for both E visas and other visa categories) over the past 3 months for citizens of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Chile, China, Comoros, Ecuador, Eritrea, France, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Congo, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Updating the reciprocity fees seems to be a current hot topic for the Department of State, and so it is increasingly important to check this information regularly.