Immigrant Visa Fee Exemption for Applicants Previously Refused under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983

Last Updated: January 19, 2022

On January 20, 2021, the President issued Presidential Proclamation 10141, titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.” This Proclamation revoked Presidential Proclamations (P.P.) 9645 and 9983, which had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.  The Department of State has amended its regulations at 22 C.F.R. 22.1 and 42.71, governing immigrant visa (IV) fees, to exempt from IV fees certain applicants previously denied an IV solely due to P.P. 9645 and 9983. Effective immediately, all IV applicants previously denied an IV on or between December 8, 2017, and January 19, 2020, with the sole ground of ineligibility based on P.P. 9645 or 9983, are exempted from paying a new IV application fee or affidavit of support fee if applying again for an IV.

Applicants do not need to pay a second fee if the following conditions are met:

  1.  The IV applicant was previously denied an IV on or between December 8, 2017, and January 19, 2020; and
  2. the sole ground of ineligibility was based on P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983; and
  3. the applicant is applying again for an IV. 

This amendment is not retroactive and no refunds will be distributed based on this change to the regulations. This provision provides for a one-time exemption of the applicable fees per applicant. 

Prior to this amendment, Department regulations at 22 C.F.R. 42.81(e) already provided that an IV applicant is not required to pay a new application fee when seeking reconsideration of a visa refusal within one year of the refusal date by providing additional evidence that overcomes the ineligibility on which the visa was denied.  Individuals who were refused on or after January 20, 2020, may benefit under that regulation and fee exemption, because they are presumed to have sought reconsideration of their prior refusals on January 20, 2021, when the President issued P.P. 10141.