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2016 Financial Eligibility requirements for Permanent Residency through marriage

In order to be eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status through marriage, the following requirements must be met, and documentation must be available as proof:

Legally Married to US Citizen

Bone Fide Relationship

Income over 125% National Poverty Level

A.   The sponsor is a US Citizen

B.   Sponsor and Spouse are legally married at the time the petition is filed.

C.  Sponsor and Spouse have a sincere, genuine "bone fide" marriage.

D.    The sponsor must have sufficient income or assets to indicate that he is financially able to support the spouse to prevent the spouse from becoming a ward of the state.  The sponsor’s annual income based on the number of dependents his combined household will have, should be at least $125% of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guideline for his state.  As of March 2016, for residents in the continental US who are not on active military duty, the details are as follows.

Persons in Family or Household 48 Contiguous States and D.C. Alaska Hawaii
2 $20,025 $25,025 $23,037
3 $25,200 $31,500 $28,987
4 $30,375 $37,975 $34,937
For each Additional person add $5,200 $6,500 $5,975


Alternatively the sponsor can demonstrate he has at least five times the annual amount in easily convertible assets, stocks, bonds, cash to quality. Equity in his residence is also acceptable.  For example, a retired sponsor from California, with no income, and no dependents, except for his spouse, needs 5 years x $$20,025 = $100,125 convertible assets to qualify.

Alternatively a combination of income and assets will work. For example, if sponsors income is $10,000 per year, then he should have $ 50,125 cash or convertible assets to qualify.  

$20,025 - $10,000 = $10,025 x 5 years = $ 50,125 cash assets needed.

Alternatively a co-sponsor with income or assets may be enlisted.

Note: The annual income requirements for active military personal are less only 110 % versus 125% of (HHS) poverty guideline.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

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