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What are the Costs for a K1 Fiance Visa?

Updated on February 22, 2016
Medical exam in Philippines
Medical exam in Philippines

The most frequent questions asked by K1 Visa (form I-129F) applicants is what are the costs involved. It is an expensive route through their Adjustment of Status (AOS) to their final adjustment status to make them permanent residents (Green Card). From the time you file the petition until you receive approval it is around six months. After that, the non-citizen then starts getting the medical exam, that may take another month to schedule. From the time you receive notice that the petition was approved (not accepted, which means they got it) to obtaining a Green Card is usually one year, assuming no delays or issues. Once the petition is filed, a Notice of Acceptance is received fairly quick, it is the approval that usually is three months wait.

Most K1 applicants go through the same general steps. The US citizen files for the K1 Visa to allow the fiancé to come to the USA and be married within 90 days of their arrival. There is the K1 application fee and the K1 Visa fee plus a medical exam where the non-citizen must go through a 1-2 day exam of their health. The whole process can take from 4-6 months.

There is an interview that is quite short where they ask about the relationship etc. You provide proof. This all takes place at the U.S. Embassy of where the non-citizen resides in that foreign country, as does the medical exam at an approved hospital. The Visa, once approved, begins from when you passed the medical exam. You have six months to arrive in the USA. Upon arrival in the USA, your Visa is cancelled but Immigration will give you the I-94 form, a document stating you have 90 days from that point to get married or not. One date is for how long the visa is good for (6 months). The other time limit is from when you arrive at the Port of Entry into the USA to get married (3 months).

After you have been in the U.S. for a week or so, you can apply for a Social Security Number and a State ID card or Driver’s license, if you want. Apply for a work permit for free when making the Adjustment of Status (AOS) after you get married. Until then, you cannot work in the USA because you have no work permit card. It usually takes three months or so for the Adjustment of Status (form I-485) to occur. Once you are able to work, you can. Plan on not being able to work for six months or more, depending on when you get married and have the Adjustment of Status.

Until you have a Green Card, you may not leave the USA unless you acquire an Advanced Parole form I-131 approved. This will grant you permission to leave. So, once you arrive in the USA, you cannot leave for at least five months or more, depending on how quick you marry.

Assuming you get married, you then must immediately do an Adjustment of Status from a K1 in order to stay for another two years. After this period is completed, you then do a Removal of Conditions, in order to be a permanent resident (by this time, the non-citizen will have been in the US for at least 4-5 years). Once the RoC is approved, you are done with Immigration unless you want to become a US citizen, it is not mandatory. If you do not get married within the 90 days, you must leave the USA. If you stay and are caught, you will be deported.

K1 Visa Fees:

  • I-129F Petition to for K1 Visa: $340 USD
  • Medical Exam: around $245 USD
  • K1 Visa Fee - $265 USD
  • Airplane ticket to USA- around $800-1000
  • Misc. fees - $40

Total: Around $1700+ to get your fiancé to the USA.

THEN:

  • Immediately after marriage- Adjust of Status from K1 Visa: $1070.00

This allows her to get a work permit and remain in USA for another 2 years legally. They can also leave the USA.

THEN:

After two + years have passed, you must file:

  • Removal of Conditions form- $590.

Now, the fiancé/wife can remain in the USA forever as a permanent resident with a Green Card. They may apply for US citizenship for another $680.

Total cost with US Citizenship is around $3000.00

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