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:

Min: $8000. Max: $45K. Middle: $25K. And these costs are spread out over at least a year.

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 $45000.

Here's how I figure that. The costs can be broken into two distinct phases:

  1. Costs incurred after you propose and she accepts
  2. Costs incurred before proposal

Costs After Proposal/Acceptance

The costs incurred after the proposal/acceptance are the more predictable costs. They include things like fiancee visa application fees, 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. Of course this depends on your exact location and the time of year, but let's just pick Dallas or Denver. This one-way ticket will probably cost around $1000.

But that's not all. Remember, she's MOVING, not just traveling. The one allowed checked bag isn't going to be enough. You'll probably need to pay for an extra checked bag and probably some separate shipping of items. Between airfare, extra bag fees, and shipping you're probably looking at a price tag around $2500.

So, between application fees and costs and transporting her and a few of her things, you're looking at total of $5000.

But remember, that's spread out over nearly a year with the vast majority of the costs happening after the visa is approved.

Costs Before Proposal/Acceptance

The costs one will incur vary most widely in the phase before the proposal/acceptance.

In order to apply for a fiancee visa you must have met your fiancee in person. That is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT. You can't just meet and propose online and then file for the visa.

So the costs before the proposal/acceptance are going to depend on (1) how many trips you make, and (2) the costs of each trip.

A 7-10 day trip will run you $3000-$5000 between airfare, lodging, food, and entertainment.

The most economical and practical way to meet that requirement is for you to travel to her city.

If you're there to visit one woman that food and entertainment cost will probably be lower resulting in the cost of a trip closer to the bottom of that 3K-5K range (assuming your woman isn't a gold digger or scammer).

If you're there on an individual tour to meet many woman, that food and entertainment budget will push the cost of the trip toward the higher end of that 3K-5K range.

After meeting a woman they think is "The One", many men also 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.

Best Case: $8000-$10000

SO.... On the absolute lowest possible end, a man makes ONE trip to meet ONE woman he met online, he proposes to her on that trip and she accepts. OR, he does ONE trip for an individual tour and on that trip he meets a girl, proposes, and she accepts.

It's rare, but it DOES HAPPEN.

The cost for such a fortunate route would run around $8000-$10000. That's the fixed $5000 for the post-proposal costs plus $3000-$5000 for the one trip.

But that's not very common.

Worst Case

On the highest end, a man could try the individual tour at a cost of $5000 and fail. Then another individual tour a year later for another $5000.

Then he does the correspondence approach and meets a woman. They communicate on Skype for a few months then he goes to see her. That's another $3000.

They REALLY hit it off. But this is their first face-to-face meeting, so it's really not yet time to propose.

So he schedules a $7000 trip for the both of them to meet in the Dominican Republic for 10 days.

She goes, he proposes, but she declines. She says it's too soon and she just doesn't feel that way. The relationship pretty much ends there.

He repeats the entire cycle, but next time it works.

If you've been following all those numbers, each cycle of that hypothetical route was $20K. Two entire cycles of that route would be $40K. And then don't forget to add that $5000 for the Costs After Proposal/Acceptance.

Medium case - probably your case...

Without constructing another entire scenario to demonstrate the middle ground between the best case and worst case as laid out above, let's just say for the sake of discussion that a "medium case" cost would run somewhere in between these two extremes. That would put us in the $25K range.

Keep in mind that this is a cost spread out over a period of years.

Bottom Line

I have actually known men who have accomplished this "best case" scenario. I have known many more men who have traveled the "worst case" route and are still searching (or searching again).

But realistically, you should expect something closer to the "medium case".

So, low: $8000. High: $45000. Realistic: $25K.

That's like a moderately equipped new Honda Accord, but you don't just get a wife, but a whole load of irreplaceable life experiences.

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