How much does it cost to bring a Russian woman to the US?

by Kevin
(Chicago, IL)

I have heard a wide range, from as little as $4,000 and up.

There are the obvious costs of airfare, and paper pushing at immigration etc.

Then somewhere I read that, her family left behind in Russia expects a big payday from you, for taking their daughter.

Is it really just an "arm candy" game for rich guys?

What's the LEAST amount you can expect to rack up on your credit card for bringing her here to the point where you actually get married at the courthouse and then eventually get her a permanent green card?


Bob's Answer:

Let me answer the easiest parts first...

No family payday... Never heard of that before (and I have been through a marriage with a Russian woman).

And surely you couldn't read two pages of my site to know how I would answer the "arm candy for rich guys" question... Of course not! And any rich guys who do think of it that way usually get exactly what they expect, but they invite that. "It" really is exactly as I describe at Why Russian Women?. I won't repeat that all here.

Now about the costs... In order to get a Russian/Ukrainian woman here on a fiancee visa, and then convert that visa to a green card, I'd say your range is more like $8000 to $23000.

Here's how I figure that... And this is in the order of least variable to most variable, not chronological...

The relatively predictable expenses are the processing/etc costs, fiancee visa application fee, her medical exam fee, maybe her travel and lodging to her country's capital for her fiancee visa interview at the U.S. Embassy (of course if she lives near Kiev or Moscow, that cost goes away), and then there's the "Adjustment of Status" fee after you are married (i.e. converting that visa to a green card application). That's pretty big at $1500. I'll estimate $2500 for all those things combined (assuming you do it all yourself instead of going to a lawyer).

Another relatively predictable expense will be her trip to the U.S. after the fiancee visa is approved. Although this will be a one-way trip, you might be surprised to find that sometimes round-trips are cheaper than one-ways. So figure $1200-$1500 for her flight here, PLUS some cargo... remember, she's going to be traveling with a little more than she would for a one week vacation. You'll almost surely need to ship things. Let's estimate her total trip, including shipping stuff, at around $2500.

In order to apply for a fiancee visa you must have met your fiancee in person within two years of the application, so the most economical and practical way to meet that requirement is for you to travel to her city. A 7-10 day trip will run you $3000-$5000 between airfare, lodging, and entertainment. It can also vary based on the time of year and the city. Cheapest times tend to be MID WINTER... You live in Chicago so I'm sure you know how to pack for that :) With bigger cities the lodging and entertainment will cost more but you won't need the additional domestic travel to get there. In smaller cities lodging and entertainment will be cheaper, but you'll need to add some more transportation expense.

But you would REALLY need to know what you're doing and be very lucky to be able to nail down a marriage proposal during your FIRST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING, so you'll probably need more than one trip.

And some men arrange meetings with a woman at a vacation location like Dominican Republic, which the man pays for. Personally I have done this, but I don't recommend it. But if you do it, count on that total price tag (for both your flights AND hotel rooms and entertainment) to come in at a minimum of $6000.

Now that you see the whole menu and prices, here are how I get my estimates:

Minimum:

$3000 - One trip to her country (frugal options)
$2500 - Visa/Processing/Etc
$2500 - Her trip here
-----
$8000

Realistic:

$6000 - Two trips to her city (frugal options)
$2500 - Visa/Processing/Etc
$2500 - Her trip here
-----
$11000

Highest:

$10000 - Two expensive trips to see her
$8000 - Expensive Dominican Republic vacation for two
$2500 - Visa/Processing/Etc
$2500 - Her trip here
-----
$23000

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