Travel: US increases fees, reduces validity period of different visa categories

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By Muhammad Luqman

Embassy of the United States of America in Islamabad has announced a number of  revisions in the fees and validity period of different visa categories for Pakistanis.

According to a public notice issued by the embassy, since January 21, an additional fee is being charged for H (Temporary Work Visa), I (Journalist and Media Visa), L (Intercompany Transfer Visa), and R (Religious Worker Visa) visas.

The additional fee would be charged for the said categories only if the visa application is approved and must be paid at the Embassy of Islamabad or Consulate General in Karachi prior to visa issuance.

The embassy is charging $32 for I Visas and $38 for H, L and R Visa categories.

Moreover the embassy has also announced to decrease the validity periods of the visas including three months for I visas, 12 months each for H, L and R visas.

According to the embassy, during a recent worldwide review, the Department of State noted discrepancies between the U.S. visa regime and the visa regimes of many countries, including Pakistan. Because Pakistan was unable to liberalize its visa regime for certain visa categories, the United States was required by U.S. law on January 21st to reduce the visa validity and increase the visa fees to match Pakistan’s practices for similar visa categories.

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