Increase in Visa Reciprocity for E, H, and L Visa Holders from Mexico
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has recently implemented major changes to the reciprocity schedule for citizens of Mexico for the E, H, and L visa classifications. Mexicans have been limited to being issued nonimmigrant work visas with a maximum validity of only one year. This impacted visa holders who travel internationally frequently, as they were required to reapply for a new visa at least once every calendar year. The updates to the reciprocity schedule provide nonimmigrants from Mexico with more flexibility to travel internationally without the burden of having to constantly renew their visas at the U.S. consular post abroad.
As part of increasing the validity periods for certain visas, reciprocity fees for these visa categories have been implemented. Previously, Mexicans applying for E, H, and L visas were not required to pay reciprocity fees for the issuance of their visas.
The DOS has implemented two tiers of visa validity periods depending on the reciprocity fee paid by the visa applicant, with the lower tier staying at 12 months. Mexican visa applicants can now choose whether they want their visas issued for 12 months or for the new maximum validity period and are required to pay the higher fee amount for the longer duration visa.
The new changes, which apply to both the principal applicant and dependent family members, are as follows:
|Visa Category||Reciprocity Fee||Maximum Validity Period|
The changes are effective immediately and individuals with emergency visa appointments at U.S. consular posts in Mexico are being asked to pay the reciprocity fees after the visa has been set for approval.
Foster welcomes this positive development that provides certain Mexican visa holders with more flexibility to travel internationally. The changes bring the maximum visa validity period for certain nonimmigrants from Mexico more in line with the reciprocity of other major economies and trading partners.
Foster will continue to monitor changes related to consular visa processes and requirements and will make additional updates available via our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.