What are the fees and costs in getting a fiance visa?
The total fees and costs for the entire fiance visa process, including getting the green card after your marriage, will typically range from $2,000 to $5,000. There are three basic categories of costs in the fiance visa process: government filing fees, other required costs, and legal fees.
Government fees for the fiance visa process:
Medical exam – changes by doctor and location
Passport photographs – changes by photographer
Translation costs – varies by the translator and type of documents being translated into English
Original documents/certified copies – varies by case
There is no requirement to hire a lawyer to assist you with your fiance visa application. However, many people find the assistance of an immigration lawyer to be very helpful in successfully navigating the fiance visa process. Overall, a fiance visa lawyer can help you avoid unnecessary delays, present the strongest case possible to minimize the risk of a denial and reduce the amount of stress that you experience in trying to figure out the process on your own. You can learn more about whether you should hire an immigration lawyer for your case by reading the Fiance Visa Guide.
If you decide to hire an immigration lawyer, the legal fees will vary depending on the law firm and the complexity of your case. You should focus your search for an immigration lawyer on finding the best immigration lawyer for your case. Your case is important and you should work with the lawyer who you believe has the knowledge and skills to best represent you. Simply hiring the lawyer with the lowest fees will rarely help you in finding the best legal representation for your case.
When do the different fees and costs need to be paid?
You generally will not need to pay all the fees and costs when you begin the process. To begin the process, you’ll need to pay the I-129F filing fee. You’ll also need to get some passport photos and may need to do some translations at this point. The K-1 visa fee will be paid just before or during the fiance visa interview. As you prepare for your fiance visa interview, should also expect to pay for the medical exam costs, additional passport photos and translation fees, and the costs of obtaining original documents or certified copies. The I-485 filing fee does not need to be paid until after you marry and are ready to apply for your green card.
When and how you will need to pay your lawyer’s fees will depend on which lawyer you decide to hire. Some lawyers offer payment plans while others require the entire fee to be paid at the beginning of the case. I typically require that the entire fee be paid at the beginning of the case, but I accept credit cards so that my clients can spread the payments out over time by making monthly payments to their credit card company. In addition, you may be able to split the lawyer’s fee into different parts depending on your situation. For example, you may be able to pay one fee for the fiance visa process and then pay a second fee later on for the adjustment of status process.