Not everyone will meet the K1 visa requirements. This list is the main eligibility requirements, but every petition is different. USCIS and consular officers are different and some countries may have additional requirements.
If you work with an immigration attorney, or a fiance visa agency, they will carefully review your situation to verify that you meet all of the requirements.
The petitioner of a K1 visa must:
- Be a United States Citizen Aged 18+
The U.S. petitioner must be at least 18 years old, and be able to prove he or she is a United States citizen. Green card holders are not eligible for the fiance visa. They are, however, eligible for a CR1 visa, although the process can take up to two years or longer.
- Be Legally Free to Marry
If the petitioner was ever married before, he or she must provide proof that any such marriage has been legally terminated through death, divorce, or annulment. This is usually proven with evidence such as a death certificate or divorce decree.
- Intend to Marry Within 90 Days
The petitioner must convince USCIS agents and consular officers that the relationship is “bona fide”, and that he or she truly intends to marry within 90 days of entry. This is to avoid fraud from scammers marrying U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of immigration.
- Have Physically Met the Fiance Within 2 Years
The couple must prove that they have physically met in person at least once within the last 2 years. This doesn’t mean they need to know each other for 2 years, just that within the last 2 years, they have met. Skype doesn’t count.
Two Exceptions Requiring Waiver:
- Meet the Income Requirement
Some visas count on the alien’s financial ability. The K1 visa counts on the U.S. petitioner’s financial ability. They must meet the minimum income requirements, or use alternatives to meet the requirement.
Options If You Don’t Meet the Requirement
NOTE: The income requirement is one of the most common reasons for denial. You need to prove you qualify through documents like tax returns and pay stubs.
The cost of the K1 fiance visa process is fairly significant for many applicants. Certainly finding love overseas isn’t a “cheap” endeavor. From the cost of travel and accommodations, to the several government fees, medical exams and assistance.
Fortunately, the various steps tend to break out the times that certain monies are due. Every case is unique and only you can truly calculate the cost of your overall tab, but the typical case can range from about $1,200 to $5,000 including government fees, medical exam, assistance and miscellaneous.
Basic K1 Visa Cost Overview
|Government Fees||Variable Costs|
|Everyone pays these.||Varies based on your situation.|
|USCIS Filing Fee: $535||Travel Costs|
|Embassy Fee: $265||Medical Exam (Varies by country.)|
|Total Government fees: $800||Assistance (ie. Advance Visa or an attorney)|
K1 Visa Costs & Fees Breakdown
USCIS Filing Fee – $535
This is the fee required to get the ball rolling with your petition. It goes along with the Form I-129F in the initial filing of the k1 visa petition.
Embassy Fee – $265
This fee is paid towards the end of the process, and paid directly to the U.S. embassy where your fiance visa interview is conducted.
Medical Exam – $200
This cost varies based on the country for your interview. It is paid directly to a medical facility determined by the U.S. Consulate.
Travel Expenses – (Varies)
The cost for the alien fiance to travel to the USA after the visa, along with any travel the petitioner does can vary from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Also consider if the alien is not from the city where the consulate interview will take place, there is more travel.
Assistance – (Varies)
Lawyers can average from around $1,800 to about $3,000 for a straightforward case. Advance Visa’s assistance starts at $250.00
Other costs you should consider are:
Postage – Getting files back and forth between you, your fiance, your agency/attorney, and the government at various steps. If your attorney or agency uses secure document transfer, it can save time and money.
Cost of Acquiring Certain Evidence – Hunting down old divorce decrees, bank statements, or birth certificates can add to the tally.
Passport – If the alien doesn’t already have a passport, he or she will need to acquire one.
Passport Photos – Passport photos are required for the K1 visa. Make sure the alien beneficiary gets them in the right size and standards.
Children – There is no extra USCIS fee if the child K2 applicant accompanies the K1 applicant, however, there will be additional embassy fee and medical exam fee.
Translation Service – If you need certain documents translated, and don’t have a friend to do it for you, this could add to your cost.