Those who are considering the K-1 visa as an option for marrying and living together in the United States when one partner is a foreign national have a wide variety of details to consider.
The cost of planning travel to the U.S., getting legally married and planning a wedding are already a large part of the process, but the couple must also consider the financial requirements of achieving the K-1 visa. Understanding how the K-1 visa works and how much it will cost is important for ensuring a strong financial future and coming into married life without unexpected expenses.
The Scope of the K-1 Visa
A K-1 visa is an US immigration document that grants a foreign national the permission to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married to a U.S. citizen. The K-1 visa is valid for six months; however, once the individual has entered the U.S they have only 90 days to legally marry.
They may only enter once, as a K-1 visa is only valid for one entry, so exiting the U.S. and then returning at a later time is not permitted. Because of these time restrictions, ensuring that you are able to pay for the K-1 visa, the wedding and travel is important to ensure that the visa is not wasted.
Costs That All Applicants Must Pay
The first fee you will need to pay for a K-1 visa is the filing fee for USCIS, which amounts to $535 and is included when an applicant sends in the initial I-129F form to USCIS. The I-129F is the form that is used to begin the K-1 visa process.
After the I-129F is approved, there is more processing done at the embassy in the foreign national’s country. When you attend the interview process at an embassy, you will need to directly pay the embassy $265. These costs are a certainty within the K-1 visa process.
Additional Costs Related to the Visa
In addition to the guaranteed costs of acquiring a K-1 visa, you can expect a variety of other expenses related to assembling the petition and fulfilling the requirements of the process. The U.S. consulate will determine a facility at which you must undergo a medical exam, which can cost an average of $60 to $300.
Further costs can be incurred in the process of traveling to the medical appointment if it is in a different city.. If your petition requires further documentation, such as passports and birth certificates, you may incur more fees to acquire these as well. Translation services to translate your documents into English may also be required and add to the cost.
The actual cost of traveling to the United States is another significant expenditure that you must plan for. In order for a K-1 visa to enable a marriage, the foreign party must travel to and enter the United States in order to get legally married.
This may become quite expensive depending on where the foreign national is traveling to. In addition, it is wise to hire an attorney to assist with the K-1 visa process to ensure that the petition is not delayed or even denied.
While an attorney can be an affordable option, those seeking a K-1 visa and subsequent legal permanent residence in the United States must still plan for the out of pocket cost of legal representation and assistance. Be sure to speak with your immigration attorney to receive an estimate of charges and understand your financial options, such as payment plans or issues that could incur additional fees.
Work with an Immigration Attorney to Secure Your K-1 Visa as Soon as Possible
Whether you are only beginning to consider a K-1 visa as the solution to your situation or you are ready to embark on the journey to secure legal permanent residence in the United States through marriage to a U.S. citizen, it is important to be prepared for the financial aspects of the process.
Doing a K-1 visa correctly the first time will save money and ensure that you are able to marry; this is why seeking the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is so important. The attorneys at Johnson & Masumi would be happy to assist you with filing your petition and securing your K-1 visa. Reach out to schedule a consultation with us as soon as today.