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K1 Visa Cost

September 25, 2023
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The K1 visa cost comprises a $535 government filing fee for the I-129F petition and an additional $265 for U.S. State Department processing via Form DS-160. A K1 visa cost includes all expenses incurred for getting the fiancé(e) visa, which allows a foreigner to come to the United States to get married to someone. The expenses often include the necessary filing fees and extra medical examination costs associated with the visa application process. Let us learn more about the important aspects of a K1 visa cost below.

Breakdown of the K1 Visa Cost in the United States

The K1 visa cost includes government filing fees, including $535 for the K1 visa petition (Form I-129F). It also includes $265 for U.S. State Department processing (Form DS-160). Moreover, a fee of $1140 for the Adjustment of Status form (Form I-485) is required for transitioning from a K1 visa to a marriage green card upon arrival in the United States. Biometrics for Form I-485 incurs an $85 charge. One must also note that these figures exclude the typical medical examination cost. It varies based on the provider and generally amounts to around $200, although this can differ accordingly.

Eligibility for the K1 Visa

The K1 visa specifically helps individuals engaged to marry U.S. citizens. The visa is also for those who intend to move to the United States. Here are the specific criteria for the special visa for foreign people:

  • Valid Intention to Marry: The petitioner (U.S. citizen), including the foreign fiancé(e), must have good intentions for their respective marriage. The department must know the intention 90 days after the foreign fiancé(e) enters the U.S.
  • U.S. Citizenship: The petitioner must be someone who happens to be a citizen of the United States.
  • Evidence of Relationship: The petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e) must also show a legitimate relationship. Documents such as communication records, photos, and evidence of in-person meetings back up the relationship.
  • Legal Capacity to Marry: Both parties must be eligible to marry each other legally. There must be no legal impediments to their marriage. It also involves existing marriages that are not legally dissolved.
  • Meeting in Person: The couple must have met each other at least once within the two years before filing the K-1 visa petition unless meeting in person would violate cultural or social norms or pose extreme hardship.
  • Financial Sponsorship: The petitioner must meet specific income requirements to demonstrate the ability to financially support the foreign fiancé(e) in the U.S.
  • No Criminal History: Both the petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e) should not have serious criminal records or be deemed security risks.
  • Health Examination: The foreign fiancé(e) must undergo a medical examination by an approved physician. It helps ensure that they are not inadmissible due to health concerns.
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Steps to Obtain a K1 Visa

The K1 visa application process involves some steps to obtain a fiancé(e) visa. So, any U.S. citizen can marry the fiancé(e)with the visa’s help. Here is a look at the entire process for the K1 visa articulated in proper steps:

  1. File the Petition (Form I-129F). The U.S. citizen petitioner must start the process by filling up the application form. This particular document is called the I-129F form. Later, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives the same document for further petition hearing. This Form establishes the genuine intent to marry and provides evidence of the relationship.
  2. Await USCIS Review. USCIS reviews the petition, checks for completeness and accuracy, and verifies eligibility. If approved, USCIS sends the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
  3. Follow NVC Guidelines. The NVC assigns a case number and forwards the petition to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(e)'s home country. The NVC will also provide instructions for completing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
  4. Complete DS-160. The foreign fiancé(e) must complete Form DS-160 and pay the associated visa application fee. This Form provides personal information and details about the planned marriage.
  5. Schedule Embassy Appointment. After completing DS-160, the foreign fiancé(e) can schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The appointment confirmation includes details about required documents, medical examinations, and fees.
  6. Attend a Visa Interview. On the scheduled date, the foreign fiancé(e) attends the visa interview. The U.S. embassy or consulate officer assesses the relationship, intent to marry, and eligibility. The foreign fiancé(e) will receive the K1 visa if approved.
  7. Look for Travel Needs. The K1 visa is valid for 6 months in the country. It further enables a one-time entry for the person to get married. This particular information is mentioned in the form that the petitioners must fill out on time.
  8. Execute Marriage and Apply for Adjustment of Status. The couple must get married within 90 days of entering the U.S. After marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) to transition to a marriage-based green card holder.
  9. Undergo Green Card Process. Once Form I-485 is filed, the foreign spouse awaits approval for a green card. It involves additional steps and interviews to demonstrate the bona fide nature of the marriage.

Additional Costs Associated with the K1 Visa

Beyond the direct government fees and medical examination costs, applicants pursuing a K1 visa should consider additional expenses that may arise throughout the application process. These expenses can include the following ones:

  • Vaccination Fees: If required during the medical examination, updating vaccinations can incur varying costs based on medical providers.
  • Translation Services Fees: Translating non-English documents in the K1 visa application package, certified for accuracy, may range from $20 to $40 per document.
  • Document Fees: Issuing official documents like birth certificates and passports, required as supporting documents, may involve government-imposed fees.
  • Professional Photography Fees: Providing recent 2-inch-by-2-inch photographs, essential for identity verification and background checks, comes with varying fees from professional service providers.
  • Travel Expenses: Costs for attending the medical exam or the interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate and traveling to acquire official documents are not reimbursed by the U.S. government.
  • Shipping Costs: Nominal charges for postage and mailing application materials and supporting documents at different stages of the K1 visa application process.

Key Terms for K1 Visas

  • Visa Interview Fees: Charges covering the administrative costs of scheduling and attending the mandatory interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate during the K1 visa application process.
  • Document Authentication Costs: Expenses associated with verifying the authenticity of documents submitted as part of the visa application, ensuring accuracy and compliance.
  • Biometrics Processing Expenses: Charges for collecting and processing biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs, to establish identity and enhance security.
  • Postage and Mailing Charges: Costs for sending application materials, supporting documents, and other required paperwork to relevant government agencies or authorities.
  • Travel and Accommodation Costs: Expenses related to traveling to a U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa interview and other required appointments, including accommodation if necessary.

Final Thoughts on K1 Visas

In pursuing a K1 visa, comprehending the multifaceted realm of associated costs is paramount. Beyond the direct government fees, various ancillary expenses, such as medical examinations, translations, and professional services, contribute to a comprehensive financial picture. Prospective applicants should approach the process meticulously to ensure a smooth and successful journey toward uniting with their loved ones on U.S. soil.

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