If you have arrived at this page, you must have some idea about visas to the United States. You probably know that they take a long time and require lots and lots of paperwork. Now, you will learn about the costs of two visas: the K1 fiancé visa and the IR-1/CR-1 spouse visa. After reading the costs for each visa, you’ll see additional costs that apply to both visas. All dollar amounts are in USD.
K1 visa costs
- $340 initial filing fee. This is sent with your I-129F packet.
- $350 fee paid on the day of the interview.
- $1010 fee for adjustment of status. This fee is paid after you marry your fiancé in the United States and he or she applies for a green card.
IR-1/CR-1 visa costs
- $420 initial filing fee. This is sent with your I-130 packet.
- $88 processing fee for the Affidavit of Support.
- $404 Immigrant Visa Application fee.
Additional costs for both types of visas
- Lawyer fees. If you decide to use a lawyer for the visa process, you’ll have to pay their fees. The lawyer I consulted charged $3000 to do the paperwork for a K1 visa, but other lawyers charge much more.
- Cost of a medical exam at an embassy-approved clinic. This can range from as low as $70 to $300 or more.
- Cost of required vaccinations. Your fiancé or spouse will need to get all vaccinations required by the US for immigration. These can be performed by any doctor–just make sure to get a receipt/vaccination record.
- Postage fees. You’ll have to pay to send documents to various parts of the government (USCIS or NVC), to your fiancé or spouse and perhaps to the US Embassy in your fiancé or spouse’s country.
- Passport photos. You and your fiancé or spouse will need to submit passport photos at various points during the visa process.
- Police clearance forms. Your fiancé or spouse must obtain police certificates from all countries he or she has resided in for more than 6 months since the age of 16. These are often costly and take time to obtain. In Malaysia, for example, it takes 6-10 weeks to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct (their name for the police certificate).
- Cost of obtaining birth certificate. If your fiancé or spouse does not have an official birth certificate, he or she will need to obtain one.
- Translation fees. Documents not in English will need to be translated.
- Copies, copies and more copies! This seems like a small expensive, but it adds up quickly when you realize how many documents need to be copied. I made twp copies for myself of every piece of paperwork I submitted to the government.
- A flight to the United States for your partner. This is the most exciting expense you’ll have.
- Finally, you’ll have to consider all of the costs of moving to another country. You’ll probably have more expenses than you expect. Starting preparing now to minimize the damage later.