k1 visa cost

K1 Visa Cost: How Much It Will Cost To Sponsor Fiance

So, you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams overseas or maybe you met an American while they were on holiday and you want to know how much the K1 visa cost.

Above all, I’m sure you want to be together in the same country as quickly as possible, right?

I’ve been where you are right now.

I was in a long distance relationship with my now husband for years before we decided to apply for the K1 visa.

Related Post: Surviving the holidays in a long distance relationship.

We were both young and just graduated college so we had very little money. We didn’t know how much US immigration was going to cost and to be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered.

So, let’s talk about K1 visa cost and how you can save some money in the process.

Case Example:

“Amber met the man of her dreams in Brazil 6 months ago. They fell in love instantly when they saw each other for the first time and Pablo proposed to her on the spot. 

After several weeks, they decide to apply for the K1 visa but Amber is concerned about the cost as she is currently a student living with her parents.”

If you are just beginning to research the true K1 visa cost, be sure to have a little extra money set aside. There are always expenses that will come up during the application process.

2018 Income Requirement For K1 Visa

Below is a current chart of the income requirement to sponsor someone on a K1 visa. 

If you don’t meet the income requirement or are unemployed or a student, you will likely need to find a joint sponsor.

Related Post: Unemployed K1 visa sponsor and filing I-134 affidavit of support.

Household Size Annual Income Required Active Military (100%) Civilians/Vets (125%) 2 $16,460.00 $20,575.00 3 $20,780.00 $25,975.00 4 $25,100.00 $31,375.00 5 $29,420.00 $36,775.00 6 $33,740.00 $42,175.00 7 $38,060.00 $47,575.00 8 $42,380.00 $52,975.00

K1 Visa Cost and Expenses

We know that US immigration can be very expensive but sometimes it’s hard to account for all the expenses that come up during the process.

The K1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that typically faster to process than the CR1 visa and can be a little less expensive.

Unsure whether to choose the K1 visa or CR1 visa? Listen to episode 1 of the “My Path To Citizenship Podcast” to learn the pros and cons.

How Much Does The I-129F Petition Cost?

Before you can apply for the K1 visa, you will need to submit he initial I-129F petition. This first step allows you to show that you meet the minimum requirements for the K1 visa.

I-129F petition cost: $535

Additional Expenses:

  • Air travel: $500 – $2500
  • Printing expense: $5-$50
  • Postage: $5-$20
  • Organizing supplies: $10-$15

The additional expenses can range quite a bit. Some of you may not need to spend any money on these categories but I’ve included them so you know what it could cost.

K1 Visa Cost: The NVC Expense

Now that you have filed the initial I-129F petition and paid the filing fee, it’s time to think about the K1 visa cost at the National Visa Center stage.

Additionally, one of the best feelings in the world is when you get the I-129F petition approved. Trust me, you’ve waited so long to finally hear something back from USCIS that you will be dancing in your living room shortly.

Yes – I was dancing in my living room when I opened the approval notice! 😂

Nonimmigrant Fee: $265

Don’t let the word “nonimmigrant” confuse you. The K1 visa is definitely a path to living in the US as a permanent resident. But, there is the requirement to get married and convert the visa after adjusting status for a green card.

Finally, the NVC will email you a list of required documents that you must submit and instructions on how to go online to complete form DS-160 and pay the nonimmigrant fee.

This fee is used to pay for processing of your K1 visa as well as scheduling your consular interview.

Related Post: How to fill out online form DS-160.

Process from I-129F to K1 visa

K1 Visa Cost: The Interview Expenses

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!

The K1 visa interview stage is when it begins to feel more like your life in the US will begin soon. I know I felt that way and it was such relief to see an end in sight for the long distance.

The K1 visa interview doesn’t actually cost any money. You’ve already paid the nonimmigrant fee which covers the processing of the K1 visa.

But, that doesn’t meant he K1 visa cost isn’t connected to the K1 visa itself. This is where the NVC comes ina dn collects payment of the nonimmigrant fee that helps cover the expense of the visa interview. 

Travel expenses – this can include a flight or car rental to the city where the Consulate or Embassy is located. If you are lucky enough to live in the same city as your interview location, that’s awesome!

Hotel expenses – if you have to travel far to get to your interview, you will likely need to pay for a hotel or Airbnb. If you have family nearby that you can stay with, that’s a great way to save money on this expense.

Food expenses – having your interview in a different city from where you live can also mean you have to pay for dining expenses. This was the fun part for me personally. Getting to try new restaurants in a new city!  👍

How To Save Money On The K1 Visa Cost

After paying all of those fees, do you feel broke yet? The K1 visa cost is definitely high but totally worth it to finally be with your love! 😍

But, is there any way that you can save on the K1 visa expense?

I’ll be honest and tell there’s no way you can avoid paying the I-129F filing fee. This is required for everyone who wishes to apply for the K1 visa.

The I-129F fee is used to pay the adjudicator salaries who process the applications since USCIS does not take tax payor money to fund this department. 

So, to save a little money on the process make sure that you follow these tips:

  • Be sure to submit a complete and signed application.
    • This will help you save money because your application won’t be rejected or denied if it’s complete and accurate.
  • Be as organized as possible to avoid delays in application approval.
    • It’s important to be organized when putting together your I-129F petition to be sure you don’t miss something important that can result in a denial.
  • Don’t visit your fiancé just yet.
    • If you can hold off on visiting your fiancé overseas, do it! You can save money on the trip and they will be in the US sooner than you think. Of course, this may not be possible for everyone to do but it’s definitely worth considering.  
  • Make sure beneficiary has their vaccinations.
    • This tip may surprise you but it can definitely help save some money. The cost of vaccination through the panel physician is expensive. Much more expensive than your regular family doctor.
  • Plan a trip beforehand for your interview.
    • Often times the interview is scheduled in a different city. It can be expensive to book a hotel, car rental or flight to get to the interview. Plan ahead and find a good deal.
  • Book your flight to the US caredully.
    • After your K1 visa is approved, you can save money by booking your flight on a specific day that cheaper or buying a two-way flight. Did you know a one-way flight actually costs more than a two-way flight?

Conclusion: Total K1 Visa Cost

Are you surprised about how expensive the K1 visa really is? I hope that the tips I’ve provided will help you save some money.

Many of USCIS immigrant applications require that you send a check so paying by credit card is out of the question. You should always double check the USCIS.gov website to be sure this policy hasn’t changed.

If you don’t have the money to pay the K1 visa cost, another option is borrowing money for the application fee from family or friends.

Borrowing money can be a great way to get started if you are unemployed or short on funds. It doesn’t matter where the money comes from as long as it is drafted from a US bank account on a US check.

If things don’t go well in your engagement, and you want to separate after submitting the I-129F petition, you won’t be able to get a refund. Even if you ask to cancel the petition the next day, USCIS will likely still cash your check and process your application.

To cancel the I-129F petition, submit the request in writing to the same field office that you sent the original petition to.

After all that you and your long distance fiancé have gone through, paying hefty filing fees is just another hurdle in your immigration journey. Don’t get discouraged! Continue on this immigration path and it will pay off nicely in the end.

Do you think the I-129F filing fee is too expensive? How did you come up with the funds?

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