A K1 visa is a great way for the fiancé of a U.S. citizen to enter the country and marry and live with their future spouse. However, the K1 visa process can become long and complicated without understanding the steps and costs involved. This review discusses the K1 process and costs associated with each step you may face along your journey.
K1 Visa Explained
A K1 visa, also called a fiancé visa, is issued to foreign nationals that are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. The visa provides the recipient with the opportunity to enter the country and marry within 90 days. Once the recipient is married, then they can apply for permanent resident status to remain in the U.S. beyond the 90-day period.
What Is The K1 Visa Process?
The K1 visa process may look slightly different for every patient. However, the steps remain the same. The best first step is to contact an immigration attorney to schedule a consultation, during which you can discuss the specifics of your situation and put together a plan before beginning the application process.
During the consultation, the attorney can also help you determine if you are eligible for a K1 visa or if a different pathway is more appropriate. To qualify for a K1 visa, the applicant must currently be engaged to a U.S. citizen and be able to provide evidence that they have a relationship history with their fiancé and the intention to get married.
The next step is to file Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It can take multiple months for them to process the application. Once approved, then the I-129F is sent to the National Visa Center for processing. A case number is then assigned, and the petition is sent to the consular office.
The next step is the visa interview and medical examination processes. The DS-160 form must also be submitted online. Once these steps are complete, then the applicant is issued their K1 visa, and they are allowed to enter the United States at any port of entry. They then have 90 days to marry their fiancé. Otherwise, they are required to leave the U.S.
What Are The K1 Visa Fees?
Keep in mind that the K1 visa fees are subject to change as the processes and associated fees presented by immigration services changes. However, the fees and costs listed below are the most recent costs K1 visa applicants can expect.
Most notably, the costs associated with the K1 visa process include the Form I-129F filing fee, DS-160 fee, medical examination fees and attorney fees. Depending on the final cost of the medical examination fees and attorney fees as well as the number of DS-160 fees that must be paid (one per applicant/dependent), the process can cost anywhere from several thousand to more than $10,000.
The Form I-129F Filing Fee
The Form I-129F filing fee is $535. This is the primary form in which you will submit to begin the application process for the K1 visa. This form is mandatory for all K1 visa applicants, and the petition will be rejected if the filing fee is not paid. It is also important to properly fill out the form with all relevant information to help ensure it is not rejected.
The DS-160 fee is required for all nonimmigrant visa applications. The cost of the DS-160 is $265 per applicant. An additional $265 fee is required for all dependents of the primary applicant.
Medical Examination Fees
A medical examination is likely required for all K1 visa applicants. This is conducted by an approved physician by the relevant embassy or consulate. The fees for the medical examination vary based on the physician chosen and various other factors.
Hiring an immigration attorney to help you throughout each step of the K1 visa process is highly encouraged. Due to the complexities and numerous details that must be followed throughout the K1 process, it is strongly encouraged to work with an immigration attorney of your choice.
The attorney fees vary based on the amount of work the attorney does on your behalf and the rate of the immigration team you choose. You can learn more about attorney fees during a consultation visit.
Get In Touch With An Immigration Attorney At Pride Immigration
If you are interested in obtaining a K1 visa (or another type of visa or green card status), then contact our immigration law team today. We help our clients throughout the K1 visa process, ensuring they have all of their questions and concerns answered along the way and reducing the risk of any setbacks throughout the application and interview process. Get in touch with us today to learn more and to start the process.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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