DOS Proposed Rule On Exchange Visitor Program FeesOn October 1, 2010, the Department of State (DOS) proposed modifying the fees it charges for Exchange Visitor Program services. Public comments were due on or before November 30, 2010. The final rule was published on February 25, 2011, and is effective March 27, 2011. The final rule set the fees as proposed, without change:

Application TypeCurrent FeeProposed FeeDifference
Designation/Redesignation$1,748 $2,700+$952
Individual applications, i.e.:
  • extension beyond the maximum duration;
  • change of category;
  • reinstatement;
  • reinstatement-update SEVIS status;
  • ECFMG sponsorship authorization; and
  • permission to issue

In the Federal Register notice, DOS states that the increase in program designation and redesignation fees "is necessary to recoup the costs of application reviews, requests for amendments to program designations, and allotment requests, as well as the cost for enhanced compliance programs, regulatory review and development, outreach and general program administration..."

Part of the increased fee for designation/redesignation is based on the Department of State's plan to conduct two kinds of in-person visits (Site Visits and On-site Reviews) to the sites of exchange visitor program sponsors, during the FY 2011 and FY 2012 time frame.

Site Visits are part of the initial designation process for new exchange visitor programs.

On-Site Reviews take the form of the following types of visits:
  • Liaison Visits
  • Redesignation Reviews
  • Compliance Reviews

DOS explains that "The On-site Review travel cost estimate is based on visiting the top 20 Private Sector Program Sponsors and the top 20 Academic and Government Program Sponsors according to Program Sponsor activity (exchange visitor participant) levels as documented in SEVIS."

DOS describes the purpose of the three types of On-site Reviews as follows:

"The primary purpose of a Liaison Visit is to provide ECA/EC with an opportunity for outreach and consultation with Program Sponsors. GS levels of staff conducting these types of visits can vary depending on the purpose of visit and the size of the Program Sponsor. Liaison Visits should include meeting key Program Sponsor staff and touring facilities, and they may last from a half day to one full day. Staff conducting these visits may range from the GS 12 to GS 15 levels, depending on the primary purpose."

"The primary purpose of a Redesignation Review is to determine the Program Sponsor's continued eligibility and/or suitability as a designated sponsor. Redesignation Reviews may last from one to two days and should require the participation of both one or more Program Officers and one or more Compliance Officers, usually at the GS 12 to 13 levels, but may also include the GS 9 to 11 levels and the GS 14 level."

"The primary purpose of a Compliance Review is to visit Program Sponsors whose performance and compliance with program regulations has come under question. Experience shows that Compliance Reviews may last from two to five days and usually require the participation of both one or more Program Officers and one or more Compliance Officers, with perhaps a supporting Program Coordinator or Program Specialist."

DOS Proposed Rule On Exchange Visitor Program FeesDOS-EVP2010-10-01DOS Proposed Rule On Exchange Visitor Program Fees 2010 PDF