Israelis Will Have to Pay More for U.S. Visas in 2010

Student and tourist visas to rise by $9; business visas hike from $131 to $450.

Israelis who wish to travel to the United States will have to pay more for their entrance visas as of January 2010, the Foreign Ministry's Web site announced on Sunday.

The most popular visas, which include both the student visa and the tourist visa, are expected to rise by $9 to a cost of $140. Visa prices were raised by $31 in 2009.

Legal adviser and immigration expert Dr. Perry Novotny said that a business visa known as the Treaty Trader would be subjected to the most dramatic price hike, from $131 to $450.

The Treaty Trader visa is needed in order to travel to the U.S. for business or trade purposes. Businessman could opt instead for a Relocation Visa ? at a cost of $150 - distributed when an applicant is sent abroad by his company.The Engagement Visa - given to people who wish to travel to the U.S. for marriage purposes - will also see a steep rise, from $131 to $350.

The U.S. embassy said the price hike was necessary to cover the costs involved in issuing the visas. Currently, applications require a fingerprint check for every applicant, and can be a time-consuming and expensive process